Tesla Files IPO Paperwork With SEC, Roadster Production on Hiatus in 2011

Tesla Motors, the luxury electric car maker, has issued the initial registration of its IPO registration with the SEC, but while they hope to be shipping cars that don’t need any gas, their Roadster may be taking a hiatus in 2011.

Back when I was teaching finance, I pointed students to the Management Discussion and Analysis section of a company’s annual 10-K report with the SEC, for there is often some good in-depth information that you might not get elsewhere. The folks at Wired’s Autopia blog caught an interesting point in the MD&A of the S-1 form; on page 62, Tesla notes that they will be changing versions of the Roadster and that only the new Model S will be available in 2011. Manufacturing of the Roadster is being contracted out to British car-maker Lotus and retooling there will have their lines down in 2011.

That is going to make Tesla a dicey stock, since they will be banking on the Model S to make money in 2011. If there are any problems getting the Model S up and running, there will not be moving cars in 2011.

That may make investors in Tesla a bit skittish, as will the red ink that has already been endured at Tesla and the position of convertible preferred stockholders ahead of them at present and as future fellow common shareholders in the future. However, the nature of the stock will have both car enthusiasts and green investors interested in the stock, so that the Tesla IPO might come out at a price higher than it would if it were a more mundane stock.

However, if all goes well, car haulers will have some new customers to deliver to as Tesla goes more mainstream.

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