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Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster 523

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-the-power-line dept.
Attila Dimedici writes "Tesla has announced that their business model has failed. Their basic idea was to sell a boutique electric car to fund the development of a regular consumer electric car. With this announcement they are saying that they did not sell enough of the Roadster to make producing it profitable. If that is the case, it is only a matter of time until Tesla closes its doors. I thought their approach was the most likely to create a successful fully electric car. Although it is possible that the technology they have developed will allow the existing car companies to develop successful fully electric cars, it is a shame that Tesla has failed to become a successful car manufacturer." CT: As a huge number of you pointed out, the linked article is not nearly as doom and gloom as the submitter: Tesla isn't locking the doors and throwing away the keys, they plan on selling a $80k sedan in 2012 with a 300 mile range.
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Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster

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  • The statement

    it is a shame that Tesla has failed

    Doesn't make any sense if you read the linked article.

    From TFA:

    Tesla Motors (TSLA) will stop taking orders for the car in the U.S. in about two months as the carmaker focuses on its Model S electric sedan

    Further:

    the two seat Tesla Roadster sports car was never intended to be a huge seller. Tesla reported sales of 1,650 Roadsters worldwide by the end of April, 2011.

    And

    Tesla's next big thing: Tesla's roadster production is coming to halt as the maker of battery-powered cars switches its focus to the upcoming Model S electric sedan.

    There is absolutely no indication in the provided article that Tesla is going away. They are just stopping the roadster so they can focus on a new car, which was part of their long-term plan some time ago.

    In other words, things are going as planned for Tesla. People claiming this is the end of the company are just spouting FUD for whatever reason.

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:10PM (#36542658)

      This is one of the few times where I wish there was a bury option for stories, if not outright delete. The summary is the exact opposite of what is said in the story,is reported by everyone else, and even of what can be inferred through looking at Tesla's financials.

      Maybe instead of filtering stories on editors, we need the ability to filter stories on submitters. I have yet to see a story by Attila Dimedici where the summary wasn't the exact opposite of what was actually going on.

      • The summary is the exact opposite of what is said in the story,is reported by everyone else, and even of what can be inferred through looking at Tesla's financials.

        The editors do have the ability to go back and adjust the text of the summary. I've seen corrections before, though this one needs a correction of a rather enormous magnitude since barely anything in the summary is correct in any meaningful way.

    • by Bertie (87778) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:13PM (#36542714)

      Seriously, who wrote it, Jeremy Clarkson? It just stinks of negative PR by somebody with an axe to grind. Slashdot should really be ashamed of itself for giving such a tirade of obviously biased bullshit such a wide audience.

      • by Aranykai (1053846)

        If Clarkson had written it, it would have stated "Tezzzlah roadsters have ceased production. Why? Because they are the worst sports cars..................... in the world."

  • This summary seems to have nothing at all to do with the article.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:02PM (#36542462)

    The article says they they are focusing on the Model S, their new luxury sedan. He obviously didn't read the article that he linked.

    • He just wanted to spin the results in a certain way. Even on Slashdot, though, there's only so much spin you can get away with without people noticing.

      • Even on Slashdot, though, there's only so much spin you can get away with without people noticing.

        Correct. If he would have blamed the "failure" on President Obama, it would have gotten through with even less scrutiny.

  • by Andy_R (114137) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:02PM (#36542478) Homepage Journal

    The linked article implies that their business model for the roadster has succeeded, and they now have the cash reserves to switch production over to making a more affordable car, exactly the opposite of the conclusion drawn in the summary.

  • by jra (5600) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:03PM (#36542504)

    The summary is -- as is so often the case, but I really would expect better here -- not only wrong, but *exactly wrong*.

    It is Pessimal.

  • by benjamin_scarlet (99428) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:04PM (#36542520)

    The article says they're stopping production of the roadster to focus on the S. It says nothing about anything failing.

  • Editorialize much? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CaseyB (1105)

    Summary is just some guy's half-assed opinion, and has nothing to do with the article.

  • Didn't Tesla say at one point that the cars they built were more about testing and demonstrating the technology behind electric vehicles, and that the real money was to be made in licensing the technology to other car makers?

    Also, doesn't TFA state that the Model S is still going ahead as planned, even if the Roadster is not?

    • by trout007 (975317)

      Correct. The Tesla was sold to help offset R&D costs. What better way to get real world data than have people pay you $100k to be test drivers. If they really sold 1650 cars at 100k that is $165 million towards R&D.

      All of the lessons learned are going into the sedan which will be priced to be profitable. We shall see what happens.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:05PM (#36542558)

    The news bit linked only says they've stopped producing a car, intended to be low volume, to focus on a sedan designed of higher volume. While they may or not be successful, nothing ITFA says "there business model has failed."

    It'd be nice if some actually read the submission before... oh wait, this is /.

  • I have always suspected that Tesla's REAL business model involved being bought out by one of the major automobile manufacturers.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      That's pretty close to the truth - not necessarily for the entire company to be bought outright, but for other companies to buy their tech.

      There's no way in hell that Toyota, one of the pioneers in hybrid electric vehicle technology, would have gone to another company for full-blown EV technology if that company didn't have a rock solid technology demonstrator.

      The Tesla Roadster was just that - and now Toyota is buying EV technology from Tesla.

  • They were probably never going to succeed beyond being a boutique auto manufacturer. Their real innovation is their battery pack technology. Sure its a bunch of small cells, but its semi affordable, and more development may bring down to fully affordable.
  • Uh what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bmo (77928) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:10PM (#36542652)

    >Subby writes bad summary totally at odds with the meat of an article - probably didn't read the article and submits it anyway.
    >gets "voted up" in the firehose by idiots that didn't read the article.
    >gets posted on the front page by an "editor" that didn't read the article.

    There are 3 layers of fail here, all of them inexcusable.

    >Slashdot readers actually read the article and call Subby and the editor stupid

    The Apocalypse is here.

    --
    BMO

    • This kind of thing build resentment against Slashdot.

      I submit articles which get rejected without any reason given. This guy submits a BS post and gets it published. Why should I volunteer to spend my time moderating Slashdot when asked if this is how they treat people who bother to submit articles?

  • by rcs1000 (462363) <rcs1000@gmai l . com> on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:12PM (#36542698)

    Well: there's a surprise. Summary says: Tesla announces business model has failed and bankrupcy imminent.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, Tesla's stock is up in an down market. The company is trading comfortably above its six month average price. The company, IIRC, always said that there would only be 2,500 Roadsters made...

    Next year, the Model S will launch. The company has thousands of preorders, with people having put real money down.

    The Model S may, of course, fail miserably. But the absurd FUD in the summary is ridiculous.

  • No.. No.. No.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by LoveMuscle (42428) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @12:14PM (#36542728)

    This was Tesla's plan for a while now, and the article says nothing about their business model failing. The cannot use the government funds they were given to develop a sports car, it must be used for the Model S. Also they based the Roadster on the Elise Chassis, and Lotus has quit making them. This isn't reddit or I'd down vote for the horrific summary. There is lots of info in their IPO filing, and elsewhere..

    Also the basis of the business model for the Roadster was to smash the image of the electric car being a hippie-green eco-shitbox, which most electric car's to date have been. That was a resounding success.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/tesla-gets-loan-approval-us-department-energy [teslamotors.com]
    http://www.allcarselectric.com/news/1042150_tesla-roadster-production-to-end-in-2011-new-version-expected-in-2013 [allcarselectric.com]

    #740..

  • Fix this shit. Submitter didn't read the article and is making things up.

  • I see Tesla roadsters on the road almost every day. I live in Silicon Valley on a hilly, winding road which leads to a lightly used road along a lake. It's about the only place in Silicon Valley where driving a sports car is a fun experience. The Silicon Valley Tesla dealership is nearby . So I see the little roadsters go quietly swooshing by as the dealership demos them.

    There are enough Teslas in Silicon Valley that I see them around, being driven, parked in parking lots, and just routinely being used.

  • I thought I had seen a craptacular job by this hack before, and indeed, back in 2009 we saw a completely inaccurate front-page story posted by him [slashdot.org] where he didn't bother to read the article that he linked to.

    But apparently on the front page, FUD sells, eh?
  • They sold over $1.5B worth of Roadsters (1650 @ $109,000) and have used Roadster technology to help produce a more affordable car that will let them sell more cars. The $100K car market is only so big, I don't think they planned on selling millions of the Roadsters. The new "affordable" Model S won't hit the market until next mid next year.

    Tell me again where the failure is?

  • Tesla received $465M in Federal money [engadget.com] according to engadget. They couldn't possibly have burned thru it already.
  • Tesla will fail, no matter how much people want them to succeed. Why? Economies of scale.

    Toyota have already delivered something like 3 million of their hybrid drivechains. The latest Prius is the biggest, heaviest, fastest and most economical to date, and now they will produce a small hybrid (Yaris). They have nearly 20 years of hybrid development. GM has what is in reality a plug in hybrid. Mercedes planned the original A-class to be electric; they have lots of development, as yet unused, probably over 20

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Except that Toyota already decided that if you shrink the gas engine to 0 and go all-electric, Tesla's tech was better than their own. Much of that was likely thanks to the Roadster.

  • Are the Slashdot editors pissed off because Tesla doesn't accept bitcoins for their cars?
    • Are the Slashdot editors pissed off because Tesla doesn't accept bitcoins for their cars?

      Why would that matter? It's not like townhall.com pays slashdot in bitcoins anyways...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tesla has in fact succeeded with most of their goals for the Roadster:
    Created a good looking, high performance, pure electric vehicle that both proved the advances in electric car tech and that electric cars can be a viable alternative for some people NOW.
    Admittedly the Roadster is not viable for everyone- lack of cargo space and lack of real range being the biggest problems.
    But they PROVED that a pure electric can also be a GOOD, enjoyable car.
    Something that no other manufacturer has done.

    Since their busi

  • Submitter apparently did not read the article s/he submitted! Content samples: "...was never intended to be a huge seller" and "...production is coming to halt as the maker of battery-powered cars switches its focus to the upcoming Model S electric sedan...for the middle of 2012". Sure as hell doesn't sound like Tesla believe that they've failed in their goal, nor that they're shutting down. Damn, this is the first time I've ever posting a bitch-fit (I've edited to take out the multiple f-bombs I had here)
  • by bareman (60518) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @01:49PM (#36544144) Homepage Journal

    Wonder if someone is an Oil industry shill?

    http://www.pctechs.org/tag/attila-dimedici/ [pctechs.org]

    Someone seems a bit too much pro-fossil fuel.

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