GE Doesn't Invest In Tesla*

UPDATE: It looks like GE hasn’t invested in the Tesla, after all.

It appears as though GE Capital (GE) has invested in Tesla Motors, according to a leaked Car and Driver interview with CEO, Elon Musk.

We’ve raised around $40 million, and a bit of news that hasn’t come out yet [is] General Electric is investing in Tesla. [GE Capital] will be the second-largest investor in this round, after me. Our business plan that we presented to investors gets us to profitability by the middle of this year, even if some negative stuff happens.

Coming hot on the heels of the unveling of Tesla’s well-received Model S, this more good news for the struggling electric car company, but it doesn’t mean the company is out of the woods at all.

Amongst its problems, it still doesn’t have a government loan which it needs to manufacture the Model S. It plans to sell the sedan to the masses, but it doesn’t have a factory to construct them in. And won’t be able to build one until the government lends it money.

It sells it’s only one car, the $109,000 Roadster, which Musk says isn’t profitable, “We’re somewhere around mid-to-low 90s in the cost of the car. When we factor in optional equipment, we’re at a slightly positive margin. Call it break even.”

And more troubling from a consumer perspective is that Tesla appears to be bankrolling its operation with deposits from the Model S. As Valleywag points out, during the unveiling of the Model S, Musk said: “The worst-case scenario is [customers who put down deposits] would lose their money. They are at risk.”

But in the Car and Driver interview, he reverses himself saying, “Even in the worst case of an Armageddon scenario, I’ll personally refund people [their money] if need be. I think there’s very little danger of that.”

So, before you pull a Calacanis and plunk down $80,000 for two cars, you might want some clarity on what happens to your money should Tesla fail to get a loan from the government, and fail to manufacture its sedan.

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