Despite Tesla short sellers, Musk promises cash flow positive in 2013
At Wednesday's annual shareholder for Tesla Motors, CEO Elon Musk gave a business roadmap for the company, saying the company was almost certainly going to become cash flow positive in 2013, that the third generation Tesla (following the Model X) will be the company's mass production electric car, and more.
The meeting came close on the heels of reports that the first Model S Founder Series cars had been delivered to Steve Jurvetson and Elon Musk over the weekend. Musk claimed the early deliveries had been made not because the two were privileged insiders, but so that they, as company leadership, could go over the Model S very carefully, ensuring that everything about the car is perfect. Which let Musk segue into discussing how well the company had delivered on promises made for the Model S.
Also see Tesla hints solar powered electric car charging, through proprietary charging connector for more of what transpired in the meeting.
Safety: Certified with a 5-star crash-worthiness so high that Musk bragged if there was a sixth star, they'd have gotten it. One point in favor of crash-worthiness is the front trunk, which would normally hold an engine, is really a massive crumple zone. Reliability: They've put the car through millions of miles of accelerated life testing, shake and bake systems, the whole works. Later in the Q&A session Musk said "The best service is to minimize serving needs," meaning the company's goal was to make a car so reliable it needed very little servicing. Beautiful: That just speaks for itself, the Model S is a beauty of a car.
Tesla Motors is not just an automobile manufacturer, the company has deals to supply electric vehicle drive train components to other automakers. One is the deal with Toyota to supply the drive train for the RAV4 EV, due to begin shipping in late summer 2012. The other is a "full powertrain deal" with Mercedes, including the battery pack, motor, transmission, inverter and other control systems, for a Mercedes vehicle, which will be sold at a "reasonably high volume level." In the past Tesla has done small drive train production runs for vehicles such as the Smart ForTwo ED, and Musk described the new deal as "a real production program as opposed to prior programs which have been more demonstration, or proof of concept, projects." It is expanding to more of a "mainstream arrangement" with Mercedes. Both of Toyota and Daimler (parent of Mercedes) own a chunk of Tesla's business, and the deals should boost Tesla's finances.