In a conference call held before market hours on 17 January, Tesla Motors Chairman, Product Architect and CEO Elon Musk and his executive team expressed confidence in the prospects for the upcoming Model S, Model X and the company. The call was held in response to market reaction to news on Friday that two senior Tesla engineers had left the company; Tesla shares dropped 19%.
Musk said that he was “highly confident” about three things:
- Tesla will meet or do better than the delivery date for the first Model S cars in July;
- The company will sell at least 20,000 cars next year; and
- It will see a gross margin of at least 25%.
Musk said that the news of the departures had been misconstrued, and that a “slightly positive” development therefore came across as a “slightly negative” development. As companies grow and mature, he said, different people are suited for changing roles.
The Tesla Motors executive team also said they were confident about each of their areas of responsibility.
Tesla received some 8,000 reservations for the Model S by the end of 2011; the limited-edition (1,000 units) Model S Signature is already fully reserved for the US, according to the company.
The Model S offers three battery options and starting prices for different ranges:
- 40 kWh, $49,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
- 60 kWh, $59,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
- 85 kWh, $69,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
- 85 kWh Performance, $84,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit) >