With soaring gas prices and severe environmental concerns that come with the increase in fossil fuel usage, cars moving away from hydrocarbons and running on alternate fuel sources are gaining more traction in the mainstream with each passing Year. Electric cars and Gas-Electric hybrids like the Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius have already become mainstream over the past decade and manufacturers and researchers alike are burning the midnight oil over introducing vehicles running even more cost-effective and environment friendly sources of fuel like Bio-Fuel and Hydrogen Cell without compromising on power and drivability.
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Tesla Motors Inc. is one such Palo Alto, CA-based company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. They first burst into the limelight following their production of the Tesla Roadster, the world’s first fully electric sports car. The company’s second vehicle is the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan that competes with products from German auto-makers Daimler Benz and BMW, among others. It was in 2013, that Tesla Motors earned their first quarterly profit after bleeding money for a number of years.
Now, in a stunning new revelation, an upcoming book on the founder and CEO of the company Mr. Elon Musk, claims that the mounting losses and negative word-of-mouth publicity of their aforementioned Tesla Model S had such a severe impact, that Mr. Musk was on the verge of selling his company to Google in 2013. It is hard to believe today, now that Tesla’s well and truly in the black and their share price is hovering around the $200 mark, up five times from its low in 2013, but Chapter 11 bankruptcy was a very real possibility for the company back in the day. As Tesla was on the downward spiral, Elon Musk turned to his friend Larry Page, suggesting Google buy the company for $6 billion and additionally put in a further $5 billion towards research and development of new products. The deal eventually fell through, because unbeknownst to Musk, the steps that he had been taking to restore customer confidence back in his products had started making an impression on the would-be buyers of the vehicle and the company had already started turning the corner and converting some of the pre-orders into sales.
According to Ashlee Vance, author of the book “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”, Mr. Musk, faced with the possibility of exiting his company in ignominy, read the riot act to his employees, reportedly saying “I don’t care what job you were doing, your new job is delivering cars.” Handling the crisis on a war-footing obviously seems to have helped Tesla turnaround and today, it is a highly profitable company with total revenues of over $3 billion and a net profit of around $300 million in the year 2014. Tesla meanwhile, is now all geared up to release their next vehicle – the Model 3, that’s expected to start shipping by 2017.