Tesla Model S Sedan
It's been almost three weeks since we published a Tesla story.
We trust that means that the Silicon Valley electric-vehicle startup is working away feverishly on the designs, engineering, production plans, and manufacturing site for its Model S four-door sports sedan, which it is still promising will arrive during 2012 (perhaps as a 2013 model).
Only one little piece of Tesla news has drifted our way lately, from our colleagues at Autoblog Green: The company is purchasing some of the equipment and fittings inside the shuttered Fremont, California, assembly plant it has already agreed to buy from Toyota for $42 million.
While Tesla provided a few details about how it will use the factory back in June, it hasn't said much since then. Now we learn that Tesla has agreed to buy $15 million of factory equipment from Toyota and Motors Liquidation Co. That's the company that holds assets from the bankrupt General Motors, the other half of the joint venture that ran the factory.
That equipment is likely pretty generic--perhaps things like forklifts, parts-storage bins, and paint sprayers--rather than specialized manufacturing equipment. Tesla wouldn't want any steel stamping presses, for instance, because they can't be used to stamp body structures and panels from aluminum sheet, as Tesla has said it will do.
The body of the Model S will be welded, riveted, and glued together, more like the equally pricey Jaguar XJ and Audi A8 full-size luxury sports sedans. Much of the rest of the car, from its suspension assemblies to major pieces of the interior, will arrive at the factory in modular form to be bolted directly into the shells.
We expect the Tesla news mill to hot up again after Labor Day, and we'll keep you posted if and when it does.
Meanwhile, Tesla's intial public offering of stock [NSDQ:TSLA] was almost two months ago. The stock debuted at $17, soared to a high of more than $30, fell back to earth, and has since hovered between $18 and $22.