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Tesla's new sedan will make or break the company

June 22, 2012 • Business


File – In this May 25, 2011 file photo, people look at a Tesla Motors electric car vehicle at a showroom in San Jose, Calif. Tesla Motors, which has lost nearly $1 billion selling high-end electric sports cars to the likes of George Clooney will offer its first mass-market, five-seat sedan Friday, June 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

DETROIT (AP) — It’s a make or break moment for electric car maker Tesla Motors.

Tesla has lost nearly $1 billion selling high-end electric sports cars to the likes of George Clooney. Now it’s going to attempt to sell them to the rest of us — and try to make money doing so.

The company’s first mass-market, five-seat sedan will be delivered Friday. The car, called the Model S, will either propel the company to profitability or leave it sputtering on the fumes of a $465 million government loan.

“The Model S is the going to be the first true mass market product experiment for Tesla, one they cannot afford to fail,” says Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence at car buying site TrueCar.com.

Tesla, the brainchild of PayPal billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, has always been a moon shot. Analysts and auto industry insiders scoffed at the idea that a new car company could be created from scratch and built in a high-cost state like California. Boardroom turmoil and a string of technical problems repeatedly delayed the launch of the company’s only car, the $109,000 Login to read more

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