In spite of a CEO shuffle, Tesla Motors said Thursday the company is still on track to deliver its sleek, sexy and very expensive all-electric sports car early next year
"We are just about there. We are wrapping up production," said Mike Taylor, Tesla's vice president of finance, at ThinkEquity Partners' ThinkGreen conference in San Francisco.
Tesla announced in July 2006 that it was taking orders for its two-seat, all-electric Roadster. The sporty vehicle goes from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds and costs $98,000 and up.
But Tesla has pushed back the delivery date of its first production cars three times, to customers' dismay.
After former CEO and founder Martin Eberhard was replaced by interim CEO Michael Marks in August and then the company announced Ze'ev Drori would take over the top spot last month, industry watchers speculated about whether another delay was coming (see Tesla Names New CEO, Tesla Founder Ousted).
At the conference, Taylor also said the company has started a waiting list for orders of the 2009 Tesla Roadster, and he said Tesla would begin taking official orders once the 2009 production date is announced.
"Just to get on the wait list costs $5,000, and that $5,000 gives you the opportunity to place an additional amount of money once we actually announce the actual production date," he said with a slight smile.