Tesla Motors’ dance card is filling up fast. Tesla announced last May that it will make music with Toyota in producing all-electric vehicles at the dormant NUMMI plant in Freemont, California (see “Toyota Closes NUMMI Plant in California,“ posted on this blog April 1, 2010). The new high-tech facility at the site of the old NUMMI plant will be renamed The Tesla Factory. It is there that the two companies intend to produce the Tesla Model S, its first sedan. The Tesla-Toyota union is moving ahead quickly, with the delivery of two prototype electric vehicles as early as this month. The Model S is expected to hit the market in 2012.
Tesla Motors stepped back into the spotlight with an IPO on June 29, 2010. The initial public offering of stock has been hailed as a success for the company, in spite of the market’s general rollercoaster performance last spring. After ending its first day with a sharp spike of $23.89, the stock (TSLA) has settled down and is now trading at $17.40, just above the initial public offering price of $17.00.
Meanwhile, lest we think that Tesla and Toyota are going steady, the media reports that Tesla is whispering with Daimler as well. “Tesla is also working with Germany's Daimler AG on electric vehicles and has supplied battery packs for use in Daimler's Smart minicars. Daimler has also invested at least $50 million in Tesla,” according to the trade publication Automotive News.
Coy, competitive and trendy, tiny Tesla is making some big moves with more than one dance partner. No one should be surprised at a company whose tag line is “Declare Independence.” But who ever thought batteries could be so sexy? For the company website click here.