Building and selling an electric vehicle sports car requires more moving parts than a robot factory floor. Startup Tesla has had its hands full getting cars to market. We just got an update on the company from Tesla Marketing VP Darryl Siry with the latest:
Former CEO’s Crashed Car: Departed (and disgruntled) CEO Martin Eberhard was supposed to receive Roadster #2, and AutoblogGreen points out that he still hasn’t received it. Siry confirms with us that during a test drive a technician “made an honest mistake” and crashed the car. (On the day of a board meeting, no less!) Siry says no malice was intended for the former CEO. Tesla is repairing the car (not sending a new one) per Eberhard’s request, according to Siry.
Raising $100M More, IPO Coming?: VentureWire says that Tesla is looking for $100 million to refuel itself. Siry wouldn’t confirm or deny on that, but says at this point going forward the company can’t comment on financial plans. Tesla has been pretty vocal on its financing in the past so perhaps this is the beginning of a pre-IPO lockdown. As we’ve previously reported Tesla has been eyeing an IPO and, according to earlier reports this year, could also raise more debt financing to get its White Star sedan to market.
What’s Up With WhiteStar?: We were expecting to catch a glimpse of the design or prototypes of Tesla’s next electric car, a sedan code-named WhiteStar, by the second quarter of this year. Siry tells us that the design of the car is “almost finalized” but the company hasn’t yet decided how it wants to deal with its WhiteStar coming-out party. Tesla would also prefer to wait to start talking about WhiteStar until its Roadstar line is established and coming out strong.
Roadster #5 On Its Way, #15 in Production: Tesla has had more than a few delays in the production of its first luxury electric vehicle, the Roadster. Siry tells us that #5 is about to be delivered (hopefully no more accidents) and #15 is just getting on the production line. Siry says that some of these cars have to be worked on for several weeks after they’ve been produced, as many of the first customers want custom-made leather interiors.