The real problem for Tesla in 2013

Tesla Model S

In an article responding to this MarketWatch story, GigaOM Pro cleantech analyst Adam Lesser argues that Tesla’s Model S sales and momentum could reasonably make it profitable in 2013, and the company isn’t likely to be as strapped for cash as MarketWatch columnist John Shinal claims.

MarketWatch’s Shinal says that Tesla:

”will rank among the top candidates in Silicon Valley for a 2013 stock collapse, unless it receives significantly more cash next year.”

But Lesser notes:

“the company is supply constrained right now, not demand constrained. It can’t build enough cars. People like the product.”

And Lesser adds:

“the risk for Tesla isn’t its balance sheet. The risk is that it’s a one product company and were it to have a supplier problem or a recall, its margin of error is so small that it would get caught in a cash crunch very quickly.”

It’ll be interesting to see Tesla transition from a one car maker to a company with a portfolio of cars by the end of next year and into 2014. To read Adam’s entire article check out GigaOM Pro (this one’s free).

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