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Summary:

Tesla Motors, the electric car startup, has just registered with the SEC for a $100 million initial public offering. This is the first public offering for a U.S. car company since Ford Motor’s IPO more than 50 years ago.

Tesla Motors, the San Carlos, Calif.-based electric car startup, has just registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $100 million initial public offering. This could be the biggest and possibly the first public offering for a U.S. car company since Ford Motor’s IPO more than 50 years ago.

The long-awaited IPO (rumors swirled last fall that the filing could come any day and the startup has discussed for years its intention to go public), if and when it goes through, will offer a test for whether the classic venture capital model (invest early and find a big exit in the form of an acquisition or an IPO) will be viable in the nascent green car market. Based on how the market responds to the offering from Tesla — a company with considerable buzz and funding from the Department of Energy, but so far not a single profitable year — will also serve as a gauge of public confidence in electric cars.

According to Tesla’s filing, the startup has accumulated net losses of more than $236 million since its inception, including $31.5 million for the first nine months of 2009 (down from $57.3 million in the same period a year earlier). Through the end of September 2009, Tesla garnered revenue of $108 million, most of it ($93.4 million) in 2009. The company anticipates “continuing losses for at least the forseeable future,” as a result of increased costs and expenses associated with design, development and manufacture of the Model S sedan, as well as ramped up marketing, new store openings and other expansion efforts.

While Tesla is now “almost entirely dependent upon revenue generated” through sales of the luxury electric Roadster, it sees its “future success” hinging on acceptance of the mid-range Model S — a project that holds many uncertainties for the startup despite $365 million in federal loans supporting this next-gen model. Tesla notes, for example, that its “production model for the non-powertrain portion of the Model S is unproven, still evolving and is very different from” that portion of the Tesla Roadster. We’ll have more tidbits from the S-1 coming up soon. In the meantime, you can check out the full document here.

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By Josie Garthwaite
  1. [...] reading over electric vehicle startup Tesla’s S-1 filing on Friday, after it filed for an IPO to raise up to $100 million, it’s clear that Tesla has a few things in spades: a stellar brand, lots of losses, and [...]

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  2. [...] the hours after the 7-year-old startup first filed its prospectus with the SEC, we laid out the company’s financials, noted the significance of this IPO as a test for the VC model in the green car biz and pulled out [...]

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  3. [...] vehicle startup Tesla’s IPO-filing last Friday provided industry-watchers with the first real glimpse behind the company’s hip brand and [...]

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  4. “continuing losses for at least the forseeable future,” ROFL.
    Sounds more like a charity than a business…
    Tesla have done the hard work, but that doesn’t guarantee a return.
    Bit of a long shot?

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  5. [...] · Leave a Comment Tesla recently announced their plans to go IPO. The  desire to go public was not much of a surprise to anyone who had been [...]

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  6. [...] snapshot of their financial situation: the S-1. That’s been the case for Tesla Motors, which filed on Friday to raise up to $100 million through an initial public [...]

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  7. [...] It’s not uncommon for the reins to change hands at a startup — the idea-generating go-getters with the vision to create a company aren’t always those who want (or who investors want) to manage the business as it grows. And the individual or team that births an idea isn’t always the one that innovates and executes that concept. But as Tesla Motors has demonstrated, even conflict between a departing founder and the new executive team  does not necessarily spell doom for a young greentech company: In the years since Tesla’s founders left the company, it has gone to court and engaged in a public war of words with one of them, but nonetheless continued to grow, build and sell cars, win a coveted federal loan and, last week, file for an IPO. [...]

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  8. These car guys just lie and lie.. Chrysler and GM said “Oh everything will be rosy if you just give us billions in bailout and now we know they fully knew they were going to go bankrupt, they were just hyping it up in order to grab some more cash, Tesla is the same but more. So let me get this right, the Tesla head guy paid GQ magazine to write an article about how arrogant he is and ditched his smart wife and left her with 5 kids for a teenie bopper that he was cheating with. He hires tons of escorts that blog about him afterwards. They announced a battery deal to raise their valuation when they really only signed a generic MOU.

    They have multiple lawsuits against them by other companies and the founder. They may have a car that causes cancer from battery EMF. They have created a pool of past staff that write endless blogs about how bad they are. They raised prices on customers who had already paid because they had no idea how to build a car. They lied to the City of San Jose about their factory plans. They applied for their only source of funds from the federal ATVM loan without even reading the rules that told them in advance they should never try to build a factory and is trying to sell an insanely expensive car in a depression while every investor has deeply reviewed them and turned them down and Musk won’t even put his money in (of which he has hundreds of millions) and all of their technology has now been superseded by Fisker, Bright and others with cars that do more for 2/3rds less money. They only got their ATVM money because the two local guys from the DOE big accounting consultancy knew the Tesla people. Tesla employees are so ready to jump ship that Musk spies on them with fake internal email. The head executive there put shills inside of other competing electric car companies to sabotage their funding and technology efforts and screwed up Aptera, Zap, and others. So:

    Marty, the founder of Tesla, has said that Musk is a “liar”, “cheat”, “manipulator” and has “no idea what he is doing”

    Musk abandoned his wife and kids for a teeny bopper actress and cheated on his marriage vows

    Musk blew tens of millions of dollars on wasted engineering and office fluff that has never been, and never will be, used in the car and that has been proved to be wrong by the new engineering staff.

    Tesla has sent a pitch letter to almost every VC on Earth and not a single one of them will invest in Tesla because their investigations in due diligence showed the company to be so poorly managed and to have one of the worst debt and financial structures in industry.

    Musk had his PR liaison pay GQ magazine to write an article about him about what a stud muffin he was so he could get more dates.

    The company has increasing numbers of lawsuits against them and most of those are for ethics issues.

    The company needs to sell 1000 cars per day to even come within a hair of meeting their investor, financial and operational costs. They are barely within 5% of that figure.

    Now that so many people have quit or left GM , they have revealed that the EV1 (Who killed the electric car) was recalled and crushed because the battery pack was shown to cause cancer. When Musk was told the Tesla battery pack could also cause cancer, he told the engineers to “not dwell on non-issues”.

    Tesla conned the city of San Jose and other politicians to write letters for their DOE loan knowing full well they were never going to put a factory in San Jose because it was too expensive to ever do that.

    Tesla applied for the DOE loaned even though they do not have the viability or debt ratio to qualify. Tesla has worse financials than Chrysler.

    Fisker, Shelby, Bright and dozens of other companies now offer more EV, faster EV, more features in an EV for less money, so there is no reason to buy a Tesla now.

    No customer is going to install a 220V or 440 V extra plug on their house and pay for that and the extra energy in any volume.

    Musk spied on his staff unethically and created a work environment where nobody cares about the company or the car so the quality is in the hole.

    Darryl Sir, Marty the founder, and hosts of famous people have left and blogged or tattled at tech parties on the extreme ills of Musk.

    Musk spends almost 400K per month on PR services to exploit his name instead of his company brand.

    Tesla changed the prices after customers bought cars because they still are too screwed up to figure out how much their only product costs. If they can’t figure out the cost, then they can’t figure out the engineering so expect a wheel to fly off at 70MPH. Look at how many Tesla’s have already been wrecked. Many times more than Fiskers.

    Tesla has wasted so much money that they can never make money so that now Musk funds the company from his PayPal money but it is running out.

    Musk’s ex wife does not want to make direct trouble in order to not screw up the alimony but she writes on blogs as “Nancy” or “Ellie” to reveal the true inside stuff she knows about Musk and it isn’t good.

    If you buy a Tesla you must REQUIRE an audited copy of their financials, signed, if you want to protect your money.

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  9. LOL, looks like we have a hater here with dubious “facts” and outright lies. Way too obvious.

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  10. [...] and the Roadster Sport, which both cost over $100,000, and lease them. This morning the company, which filed for an S-1 last month, said it will be offering the Roadster and the Roadster Sport with “a three year, 30,000 mile [...]

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