Tesla Model S SedanEnlarge Photo
It may have major shareholders in the form of automotive giants Toyota and Daimler, but the Californian electric car automaker known for its super sexy Roadster is going to stay independent for the foreseeable future.
At least, that’s what Tesla Motors' larger-than-life CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg West yesterday in an interview about himeself, Tesla and its partner company SpaceX.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company,” explained the 39 year-old serial entrepreneur “I don’t personally have any interest in selling. I think there’s a lot of innovation we can bring to the car business.”
Could Musk be right?
Tesla Model S launch party guests, IAC Building, ManhattanEnlarge Photo
Financially, the firm hasn’t been doing great. But although the firm has spent essentially all of its time in the red during its eight-year history, its first-quarter losses for 2011 were less than original estimates caused in part by money earned from battery pack and development revenue from Daimler and Toyota.
Then there’s the Model S. Due to go on sale next year and with prices starting at $56,400 the all-electric seven-seat luxury sedan promises to revolutionize the electric car world with top specification models capable of up to 300 miles per charge.
But one car does not an automaker make. History-books are scattered with the corpses of many independent automotive firms whose cars were truly amazing but simply couldn’t make the books balance.
Or is there something else preventing Musk from selling? Something big?
Tesla Roadster 2.5Enlarge Photo
Tesla is known for its electric drivetrain and battery pack developments almost as much as it is for its cars. Is Tesla sitting on another advancement in electric vehicles (or even supercapacitors) which will secure its financial future and independence?
It is a possibly, but as many analaysts have pointed out, Tesla's current financial hemoraging of cash and predicted price for its Model S just don't add up to a profit.
Yet Musk says he still won't sell.
Perhaps it's more simple than we thought. After all, why would Musk want to sell out to companies his firm has spent the last eight years trying hard not to emulate?