Tesla Motors (TSLA) Producing Model S Beta Models As Interest Remains Strong

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11:39:59 am on July 29, 2011

Tesla Motors (TSLA) appears to be on track for a launch of its much anticipated Model S electric sedan for next year.  The company has begun assembling beta versions of the vehicle, a few of which will make its way into Tesla showrooms later in the year.

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The success of Tesla will most likely be closely tied to the success of its Model S because they are targeting families rather than wealthy sports car enthusiasts as they did with the Roadster.  Granted, the Model S won’t be within the means of many families particularly in a tough economy, so sales could certainly disappoint just as they have with the LEAF and Volt.  Less than 7k of the LEAF and Volt combined have sold in the first half of the year although it’s important to keep in mind that supply constraints added to the lack of buying.  2012 will provide a much better read on the appetite for electric cars as Nissan and GM ramp up production and Tesla joins in with the Model S. 

On a positive note, the appetite for the Model S appears to be strong ahead of the launch with the company closing in on 5000 reservations at $5000 a pop for a down payment.  Considering that the Model S is priced nearly 50% higher than the LEAF and Volt at $57K, that’s an impressive number ahead of the launch.  It’s quite possible that Tesla will be the “must have” Apple of electric cars while the Volt will be seen as the PC.  It’s not too far fetched!  Remember that Tesla hired a former Apple marketing exec (the same guy responsible for the Apple stores) to head its marketing strategy.

 

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Comments  

The Volt is not a true EV so comparing it to the Model S isn’t 100% accurate. The only other mainstream EV out there is the Nissan Leaf.

 

Technically, that’s true John but I think for gauging consumer interest in “greener” vehicles it’s close enough.

 
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