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Rumor Mill: Tesla Preparing to Go Public, Opening Plant in Downey, CA

Tesla Roadster

More than a year after Tesla shipped its first batch of Roadster sports cars, rumors are swirling that the electric vehicle company is planning to file for an IPO any day now. Tesla has officially denied the rumors, but it would make sense for the company to go public.

This past May, Daimler snagged a $50 million (10%) stake in the company, and soon after that the Department of Energy gave Tesla $465 million in stimulus funds. The company opened its first East Coast store in July, and in September, Tesla received $82.5 million in venture capital. So while Tesla has faced some issues in the past–including a well-publicized lawsuit from estranged founder Martin Eberhard–the company’s $783 million in funding give it a market-leader advantage. A public offering would not only ensure that the $50,000 Model S Sedan ships on time, but turn Tesla into a viable next-gen American automaker.

Tesla is also going to open a Model S production plant on an 80-acre plot in Downey, CA., according to the city’s mayor.

If Tesla announces an IPO, we predict it will be timed to the start of the LA Auto Show next week–which will feature a variety of competing electric sports and luxury vehicles that hope to trump Tesla’s Roadster and Model S.

[Via Reuters]

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