Most car manufacturers who go to the Frankfurt Motor Show probably have one thing on their minds: make an impression with your new cars. While that is, of course, what the purpose of auto shows are, sometimes, a car brand is fortunate enough to leave Frankfurt with something more than they expected. Take the case of Tesla , for example.
The California-based electric sports car brand came to Frankfurt without the faintest idea that they would find a company willing to spend $82.5 million to become an equity investor in Tesla. But that’s exactly what happened after a group led by Fjord Capital Partners approached Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk with regards to purchasing equities in the brand.
Not one to turn a good deal down, Musk accepted the offer, saying that “It was an opportunistic investment. We were not looking for money.”
Now armed with a sweet sum of $82.5 million, Musk plans to use the ‘added finances’ to expand the brand’s global retail stores.
We don’t know about you, but we believe that things happen for a reason – whether it’s pre-determined or just by sheer luck – and Tesla’s appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show ended up with the company becoming $82.5 million dollars richer.
We’ve learned that the civil lawsuit filed by Martin Eberhard, co-founder of Tesla Motors, against his former colleagues, specifically company CEO Elon Musk, has been thrown out of the window.
According to the San Mateo Superior Court of the State of California, Eberhard voluntarily dropped the lawsuit, prompting rumors that both parties may have come to some sort of off-court settlement.
No further developments have arisen, mostly because both parties have been advised by their legal councils to keep mum on the issue, although the complainant’s lawyers have said that further details would be disclosed in the coming months.
While it’s been a long-standing belief that Tesla was producing a new car to succeed the highly-successful Roadster , it wasn’t until recently that the carmaker released the first official – and detailed - photos of the Roadster Sport.
Tesla has long said that the new Roadster Sport is going to pack more power in a simpler and more efficient engine, but a lot of us took it with a grain of salt considering the original Roadster seemed to have covered all of the bases as far as power and efficiency were concerned.
But now, it seems that Tesla may have been on to something.
Fresh of posting a surprising surge in sales in July and receiving a substantial government loan, Tesla Motors is looking to build on its momentum as it prepares to open an all-new powertrain production facility and corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Thanks in large part to the $465 million dollar loan the company received from the U.S. Energy Department, Tesla was able to use that money to open its new three-building facility located at Stanford Research Park with the objective of further developing and building new components for its new-line of electric cars, as well as products for other car brands. In a time where car makers are focusing more on cost-cutting, Tesla seems to riding a wave of momentum as it heads for a new chapter in the company’s history.
After witnessing the success of the $109,000 all-electric Tesla Roadster – which they say was the primary reason for the spike in sales last July - the California-based car maker has decided to widen its fleet of vehicles to cater to a more mainstream audience. The company is already hard at work developing a new line of cars to complement the Roadster, one of which is theModel S electric sedan, a seven-seater electric car the company unveiled a few months ago.
In a time when making profits have become rarer than finding a needle in a haystack, Tesla seems to have bucked that trend with a strong showing in July, resulting in $20 million in revenues and $1 million in profit.
It seems improbable for an automaker to be making any sort of profit these days, much less an electric car brand. But against all odds, Tesla seems to have done it.
The company’s profit came as a result of extraordinarily strong month for Tesla, a month where they shipped 109 cars to reach their profit threshold.
Despite Tesla saying that they reached their ‘overall corporate profitability’, there remains a cloud of uncertainty as to how Tesla managed to do it. It’s also worth noting that selling 109 cars at $109,000 a pop falls far short of $20 million. Nevertheless, Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO was predictably thrilled regarding Tesla’s performance. "We achieved a bottom-line profitability thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work by the Tesla team to improve quality, while simultaneously reducing costs on the Roadster,” he said.
We applaud Tesla for finally taking its cars to New York City but we can’t help but raise our eyebrows as to the location the company picked in the Big Apple to set up shop.
A day after Daimler announced that it sold a 4 percent stake in Tesla to an Abu Dhabi company; Tesla Motors officially opened its first dealership in New York City, joining its list of stores that include Menlo Park, Los Angeles and London, with Seattle and Chicago set to open soon.
While it’s a big step towards infiltrating the posh and sophisticated East Coast market, Tesla’s new store in New York isn’t found on Manhattan’s fabled auto row on 11th or Park Avenues, where a host of other top-of-the-line car makers including Ferrari and Mercedes are located.
Tesla, on the other hand, decided to pick the artsy district of Chelsea - West 25th street, to be exact -as the location for their latest showroom. Not exactly a hotbed for auto enthusiasts, is it?
The all-electric automobile manufacturer Tesla Motors has a reason to celebrate today; because they have just delivered their 500th unit, a Twilight Blue Roadster to the New Jersey native, Martin Tuchman. The zero-emission vehicle comes with a few added bonuses in the Garden State. The green vehicles are exempt from sales tax and luxury taxes in New Jersey. Even when Martin is flying solo, he can use the HOV lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike. Not to mention the $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit that is available to all Tesla owners.
“My Roadster drives like a dream…it’s amazing” said Martin Tuchman, owner of chassis number 500. As a demonstration of faith in the alternatively powered automobile, he plans on using the EV as a daily driver.
As part of their boutique sales strategy, Tesla will be setting up shop in large urban environments like Chicago, London, Seattle, Miami, Washington, Monaco and Munich. Tesla Motors is also planning to expand their line up with a full sized four door model “S” and a more spacious 2+2 to go up against the flat sixes from Stuttgart, but until the battery powered sports car maker brings out their 911 competitor , they will just have to keep on pumping out environmentally friendly Roadsters.
The all electric car company Tesla Motors is doing all right for themselves; the Southern California based operation has already begun to open their boutique style dealerships in order to sell their current Roadster sports car, and upcoming Model S sedan. Unfortunately the automaker is not moving as many products as they would like, and they think the current lack of space in the open air roadster is a turn off to new car buyers.
However, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk this will be solved in 2012 when his company will unveil their latest creation, an electric competitor for the Porsche 911. Based on the Model S platform, the future Tesla will be a 2+2, offering 10% more room for rear seat passengers and 50% more trunk space than the current 911. The Carrera competitor will also come with all wheel drive.
But one must consider, what affect the added weight of passengers and cargo will have on the E.V. Will it be enough to make the weight conscious battery powered sports car feel heavy and will the additional current it takes to move more mass take a toll on the vehicle’s fuel economy? We will just have to wait and see what the Tesla engineers can come up with.
The way Formula 1 is going this season, with the privateer upstart, Brawn GP team dominating in a field of experienced manufacturers; it looks like things will never be the same again. The ex-Ferrari/Honda technical director and now team owner, Ross Brawn, is showing makes like Mercedes , Ferrari , BMW , Toyota and even Renault a thing or two about how to put together and F1 racecar. The Brawn BGP 001 must be good, because it has made Britain’s lost son, Jensen Button, a driver who couldn’t even find the podium for the last two years absolutely unstoppable, winning 5 of the 6 races so far this season.
Normally it takes about 10 to 15 years for F1 technology to trickle down onto the streets, but hopefully in this age of automotive independents, it won’t take that long. This independent spirit could just so happen to be what this ailing automotive economy needs. This kind of innovative thinking, is making car companies like the all electric auto maker Tesla sound more and more like Tucker.
The world’s oldest automobile manufacturer, Daimler, has just acquired a sizable stake in the American all-electric car builder, Tesla. Even before the 10 percent sale, both companies were working together to use Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries in Mercedes Benz’s Smart electric car . Member of the Board of Daimler AG, Dr. Thomas Weber, said that "our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialization of electric drives globally," because according to Benz, the future will be made up of at least electrically assisted vehicles.
Tesla Motors Chairman and CEO, Elon Musk, had this to say about the German conglomerate, “Daimler has set the benchmark for engineering excellence and vehicle quality for more than a century. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Daimler would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla.”
There are already 100 Smart electric cars on the streets of London; these electric vehicles have been part of large-scale testing since 2007 being tested in real world driving situations, conducting normal daily operations by fleet operators as well as private citizens. Later on this year, the Smart assembly plant in Hambach, France, will commence production of up to 1000 second-generation electrically powered Smart fortwo models, taking full advantage of the latest advances in lithium-ion battery technology.