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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tesla: yet another troubled car company

Facing trouble raising money (and other problems), Tesla Motors today confirmed cancellation of its planned San José factory. The factory was only announced four months ago, and — in the light of the high government subsidies and deteriorating US economy — seemed dubious even then.

The scoop was researched Wednesday and reported Thursday by the San Jose Business Journal.

As also reported by the Merc this afternoon, the nominal reason for the cancellation was government loan conditions, although the company earlier announced (and then cancelled) plans for a New Mexico factory.

Tesla today still has two dealerships, one in Menlo Park (for Silicon Valley gazillionaires) and Santa Monica (for eco-conscious movie stars). While normally a good strategy for cutting-edge technology — let alone cool sports cars — nowadays California is a bad basket to put all your eggs in. The Merc also reported that 2008 new car sales in our state fell 23% in one year, to the lowest levels seen in 15 years.

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