Upstart electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it expects to land in the black by midyear, thanks to a new $40 million round of financing completed in December and an order bank that is fast approaching a sellout.
In an email to Tesla newsletter subscribers, company founder Elon Musk says the new financing is twice the amount the Silicon Valley startup needs to reach profitability.
“We remain on track with our cost reductions and production ramp,” he adds, “so it appears likely that Tesla will meet the goal promised to those investors of becoming profitable midyear.”
Musk says Tesla production for 2009 is sold out until early November, “something few auto makers can claim.”
More than 200 Tesla Roadsters have been built for customers, and more than 1,000 buyers are awaiting delivery, the auto maker says.
“While we have had some cancellations due to buyers experiencing personal financial difficulties, new orders continue to flow in every week from the United States and Europe,” Musk writes. “I expect sales demand to strengthen further as…awareness grows.”
Tesla plans to unveil a street-drivable prototype of its Model S 4-door sedan March 26 at its San Carlos, CA, design studio to customers and select VIPs. Roadster owners will be offered a $10,000 discount off the price of a Model S Signature series sedan and allowed to go to the top of the waiting list for the car. The Model S is scheduled to enter production in 2011.
The auto maker says it is in the process of opening dealerships in Chicago and London and close to finalizing locations in Manhattan, Miami, Seattle and Munich. All six facilities are expected to open this year.