For Tesla Motors, 2012 has been a good year. Production of the Tesla Model S is rolling along, and for the first time ever Tesla actually turned a weekly profit. Yet despite all the accolades and benchmarks, Tesla is still a company that owes a lot of money to a lot of people, and some market analysts think the company will need a lot more money to stay afloat.
As of September 30th, Tesla reportedly had just six months of cash left on hand, with debts (primarily from those low-interest government loans) of more than $414 million. Cash flow from the sale of Tesla Model S sedans and battery packs to other automakers has only brought in about $91 million, less than a quarter of the money Tesla owes. For these reasons, some market analysts believe Tesla will need to seek either more government loans, or private investment, in order to stay solvent. Our own Jo Borras recently criticized Tesla for taking money from Model S owners for future replacement batteries. That just screams “We need money!!”
Yet even so, shares of Tesla have risen 30% since November, largely on the news that production of the Tesla Model S is picking up pace. WIth around 400 cars built every week, it will still take Tesla months to work through the
13,000 reservations 20,000 reservations. Even so, Tesla has a tough road ahead, and some analysts are warning investors to stay away.
For what it is worth though, Tesla is perhaps the best-positioned new automaker on the market, and one of the few green automakers to follow through on almost all of its promises. The jury is still out on whether or not Tesla can make it in the long haul…but we’re feeling pretty optimistic.