As a relatively new brand in the auto industry, Tesla has, for the most part, been a local US brand. But don’t sleep on the boys from California just yet; the brand has taken a big step in becoming more globally recognized after opening its first showroom in Asia.
The showroom, which is located just outside of Tokyo, is the brand’s first in the Asian continent. Opening its first store in Japan is a very sensible choice for Tesla considering that it puts them closer to their corporate partner, Toyota, who recently made a $50 million investment on the California-based automaker while also inking another $60 million deal for Tesla to help Toyota in the development of an electric RAV4 SUV.
Yet despite the opening of the store in Tokyo, the company is tempering their expectations as far as how many cars they’re going to sell. The only model that is currently available in the Tokyo dealership is the Roadster and the price tag attached to it - $150,000 – is two/thirds more expensive than what it costs in the US. That being said, Tesla has one thing going for it in Japan: electric vehicles are tax-free and eligible for government incentive cash payments in the country thereby curtailing the Roadster’s price tag by $40,000, giving it an end price of somewhere similar to its retail price in the US.
When we look back on our lives, we can clearly remember the day when we fell in love with the automotive industry. Although our experience was wonderful, this little boy’s adventure in a Tesla Roadster 2.5 tops it.
In this video, a kid was taken out for a spin by his dad in their Tesla Roadster 2.5 and despite not knowing anything about the inner workings of the Roadster, the kid gives out a genuine shriek of both excitement and fear as soon as the dad pushed on the accelerator even calling for his mommy at one time, much to the amusement of the dad.
We know that the Tesla packs some power and we’ve had our share of exciting moments in one, but we never felt like this before. At this moment, this young fella just earned his wheels.
The Roadster 2.5 packs 288 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, helping it hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.7 seconds, although it seems like those two were going a bit faster that just 60 mph.
In a time where we see videos of supercars on a daily basis, this video is undoubtedly one of the best we’ve seen this year.
Well, it’s now official; Tesla Motors has just revealed that it has signed a deal with Toyota to develop electric powertrain components of the new RAV4 EV. Tesla will work on developing the battery, power electronics module, electric motor, transmission, and software for the crossover.
Below is Tesla’s filing with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission:
On October 6, 2010, Tesla Motors, Inc. ("Tesla") entered into a Phase 1 Contract Services Agreement (the "Agreement") with Toyota Motor Corporation ("TMC") for the development of a validated powertrain system, including a battery, power electronics module, motor, gearbox and associated software, which will be integrated into an electric vehicle version of the RAV4. Pursuant to the Agreement, based on preliminary specifications, TMC will pay Tesla approximately $60 million for the development services to be provided by Tesla. The parties will mutually agree to the final specifications, deliverables and payment amounts and schedule within 60 days of the execution of the Agreement. This amount will be paid in various installments during the term of the Agreement.
Count Tesla in among the growing number of manufacturers that have seen their car models get subjected to one form of recall or another.
The California-based electric carmaker has issued a voluntary safety recall of the Roadster 2.0 and 2.5 models over fears of a potential fire hazard with the electric vehicle’s auxiliary power cable.
According to Tesla, the problem arose after the company discovered that the auxiliary cables had the propensity to chafe against the edge of a carbon fiber panel in the car, which could potentially lead to a fire behind the right front headlamp of the car.
As a result, Tesla has issued the voluntary safety recall of 439 affected models of the Roadster while assuring the owners that the recall is purely a precautionary measure and that the company is doing just to be on the right side of any potential accidents.
Owners of affected vehicles are being instructed to make an appointment for a Tesla service staff to inspect the auxiliary cable and fix the necessary problems to avoid further complications.
In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s garage, the King of Late Night was presented with the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5. The electric roadster is powered by an electric motor (obviously) that delivers around 295 lb-ft of torque to the wheels via a single-speed transmission. The Tesla may carry an electric motor, but that doesn’t mean it can’t produce some incredible performance numbers. In fact, the Roadster Sport can make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.7 seconds.
Compared to a standard Roadster, the Sport 2.5 version receives a new look including a new front fascia with diffusing vents and a rear diffuser reflecting the future of Tesla design. The roadster also receives new seats with improved comfort, larger more supportive bolsters, a new lumbar support system, and improved interior sound reduction with a new front fender liner material that makes the cabin even quieter.
Check out the two videos to see what Jay Leno had to say about the electric roadster.
After a tough and tumultuous trip down the economy spiral, automakers are finally starting to get back on their feet. Of course, that is evident in the number of automakers that are now announcing their big plans for the coming years. We’ve already heard from names such as Porsche and Lincoln. Even little Scion has gotten involved in the action. Now it’s Tesla’s turn in the spotlight as they broadcast their future plans.
Tesla future plans include a Model S sedan, a successor for the current Roadster, and a crossover. Of course the coolest model, until further notice, is the Roadster model which we’ll just call Model R (just because the sedan will be called Model S).
Like with the future sedan, the Model S will be offered with a choice of three possible battery packs, the best of which will have a range of 300 miles. The current Roadster develops a total of 248 HP and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, but the next generation will be lighter, so we expect big improvements when it comes to performance.
The current generation Roadster will go out of the production in December of 2011, its production line being replaced by the Model S. The cars replacement will not arrive until late 2012, as a 2013 model.
Today, Tesla announced that it was going to hire former Apple and Gap employee George Blankenship, in the hopes that his expertise would change the car buying experience.
Blankenship has a total of thirty years of experience in retail and real estate and is known for being the creator of Apple’s brand building retail strategy. He is often credited with creating one of the best retail strategies in history during his time with Apple.
He will work closely with Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, in the hopes of creating the ultimate buyer experience. They hope to one day make their dealerships more stylish than anything we have ever seen.
“I’m excited to create a retail experience that is as thrilling as my first drive of the Tesla Roadster,” said Blankenship.
Part of the new strategy is to build new stores in Tokyo, Japan, Toronto, Canada, and Washington DC. Get ready for the next generation of the car showroom.
After an early interest in Tesla Motor common stock, things haven’t been so peachy, as a sell-off has given a big time reality check to long-term investors. Shares of the company closed on Tuesday at $16.11, down 16 percent for the day.
Near the end of the trading day, the stock fell as low as $15.83. The final closing price was 47 percent lower than the high mark for the stock, which was $30.42. That high water mark occurred on the second day of the stocks trading.
Around 13.3 million shares of the company were sold during the first public offering at a price of $17. This big first day helped Tesla raise $226.1 million for the company.
Many people believe that the reason for the stocks plummeting is down to the price of the cars. Few people are able to buy a car worth $109,000, especially an electric car. Other reasons include recall issues, delays with the Model S, and the company’s high debt levels.
The Tesla Model S should be out around 2012 at a cost of $50,000. The company plans to make around 20,000 sedans every year.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard so much of Tesla beginning to float an IPO and becoming the first automaker since Ford way back in 1956 to do it. Now it looks like it’s paying off. Big time.
On the first day of trading, common stock of Tesla Motors skyrocketed 41 percent on the Nasdaq stock exchange. With shares opening at $17, the number dipped a bit in the opening hours before steadily increasing the rest of the day, topping at $25 at one point before settling in at a closing rate of $23.89.
Needless to say, the overwhelming response and demand for Tesla shares has company CEO Elon Musk grinning from ear to ear. "The response from investors has been tremendous,” he said. “We increased the size of the offering and the demand was still enormous, so we increased the price to a dollar above the top of the range and we still had massive, overwhelming demand.
Tesla has unveiled a new version of their electric Roadster today. It is called the Roadster 2.5 and, according to Tesla, includes improvements in both design and technology. Some of these inclusions are a new front fascia, rear diffuser, improved seat comfort, and internal finishes. It also includes a new front fender liner material, sound dampening, and a large touch screen navigation system.
"Although development of the Model S is our main focus, this shows that we still care a great deal about improving the Tesla Roadster," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "These improvements are a direct result of customer feedback and come only a year after release of Roadster 2.0, showing an exceptionally rapid pace of innovation. Where feasible, we will also offer existing customers the ability to purchase the upgrades now available in version 2.5."
The new Tesla Roadster 2.5 is currently available for order, with deliveries beginning shortly thereafter.