In a move that could interpreted as “ballsy” or “utterly insane”, Tesla Motors has simultaneously announced an IPO and the end of Roadster production in 2011. Roadsters, built largely by Lotus at their plant in Hethel, England, share body structures with the Lotus Elise / Exige. Both the Elise and Exige are due to be replaced by new models, as yet unannounced by Lotus.
While Tesla Motors has begun development of the Model S sedan, they do not yet have a chassis supplier for this model. An optimistic projection is for production of the Model S to begin in 2012, which leaves a one to two year gap in sales revenue for the start up company. A new version of the Tesla Roadster is not expected before 2013.
I’m not an economist (nor do I play one on TV), but I’m guessing that announcing a two year absence of product isn’t the best way to raise $100 million in an IPO. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, has proven his critics wrong in the past, but he certainly has his work cut out for him this time around.