Battery-Electric Carmaker Tesla Motors’ IPO Raises $226 Million

California-based all-electric carmaker Tesla Motors Incorporated raised $226 million in the first initial public offering by a U.S. automaker in more than 50 years.

According to Bloomberg data, Tesla sold 13.3 million shares priced at $17 per share after initially offering them at between $14 and $16 per share. The maker of the $109,000 Roadster AEV has yet to show a profit. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Tesla will use the proceeds from the stock sale to pay for the purchase and retooling of production facilities and possibly for acquisitions.

Tesla’s offering was the first by a U.S. carmaker since Ford Motor Company’s IPO in 1956. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, has bet a good deal of his personal fortune, made through his sale of Zip2 Corporation and PayPal Incorporated, on the success of the battery electric car company.

Musk reportedly made nearly $300 million on the sales of Zip2 Corporation and PayPal Incorporated. Tesla has yet to turn a profit and is expected to continue losing money for at least the next two years. In addition to his role as Tesla’s chief executive, Musk is also the CEO of California-based Space Exploration Technologies Incorporated which builds experimental spacecraft.

Musk has reportedly invested upwards of $70 million of his own money on the green carmaker. To date, Tesla has sold about 1,000 of its premium-priced Roadster models, primarily to wealthy musicians, movie stars and electric vehicle aficionados.

Tesla is currently developing a second battery-powered vehicle, the Model S, which the automaker says will be priced at $57,400. The Model S will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and will have an operating range of 160 miles between charges. The Model S is scheduled to launch by 2012. Tesla expects to produce about 20,000 Model S vehicles annually.

Since its founding in 2003, Tesla has burned through 230.5 million and has never reported a quarterly profit. However, Toyota Motor Corporation plans to invest $50 million in Tesla to assist in the automakers takeover of the idled New United Motor Manufacturing, Incorporated facilities located in Freemont, California.

NUMMI was originally a joint venture between Toyota and GM. Last year, however, GM exited the partnership following its federally backed restructuring bankruptcy. Toyota is also considering an electric vehicle development joint venture with Tesla although no formal agreement has been announced.

General Motors Company is also positioning itself for an initial public offering which may be announced as early as August.

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