Musk makes Ken Lay look like a kid playing with Legos.
Over the past year, the electric-car maker has been burning money at a clip of about $480,000 an hour, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
Hence, Elon needs more money.
How to get it?
Con fresh marks into paying him upfront to “reserve” a Founders Series Roadster – his purely theoretical electric supercar, which won’t be available for years and possibly never.
It will cost buyers a $250,000 down payment to “reserve” one of these unicorns – but the car won’t be available for at least two years. If 1,000 rich imbeciles ante up, it will mean $250 million in fresh cash to burn for Elon.
At least, for once, it’s not the taxpayers that’ll be screwed this time.
Tesla is also charging a total of $50,000 for reservations of the regular Roadster and trucking companies can also pre-order electric semis for $5,000, though they don’t go into production until 2019.
Meanwhile, Tesla is blowing through more than $1 billion each quarter; much of the latest losses due to massive investment in the Model 3 – Tesla’s “affordable” $35,000 EV that’s looking less likely to generate a return anytime soon.
“Whether they can last another 10 months or a year, he needs money, and quickly,” said Kevin Tynan, senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, who estimates Tesla will be required to raise at least $2 billion in fresh capital by mid-2018.
Investors who bought $1.8 billion of debt three months ago remain under water even after the notes recovered a bit from a low of 93.88 cents on the dollar early this month.
That may leave selling equity as the most viable option. But that, of course, would dilute existing shareholders, and Musk, at 20 percent, is the biggest.
“So long as the company is burning cash, it will remain dependent on the patience and enthusiasm of public markets or the deep pockets of a white knight,” said Christian Hoffmann, a money manager at Thornburg Investment Management.
In other words, on the government teat – and the imbecility of snowflakes with money to burn.
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