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Tesla CEO Says He Has No Interest in Selling Electric Carmaker

Tesla Model S Assembly to Begin With Highest-Priced Version
About 5,000 of the cars will be made at a factory in Fremont, California, in 2012, Tesla said. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said he expects the maker of electric Roadster sports cars to remain independent and isn’t planning to sell his stake in the company.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company,” Musk said today in an interview with “Bloomberg West.” “I don’t personally have any interest in selling. I think there’s a lot of innovation we can bring to the car business.”

Tesla, named for inventor Nikola Tesla, has said it will likely continue to post losses for at least another year as it prepares to build and deliver Model S electric sedans starting in mid-2012. Speculation that the Palo Alto, California-based startup may eventually be acquired by a larger company has persisted this year.

The company reported a first-quarter net loss on May 4 that was narrower than analysts estimated as it boosted revenue from battery packs and development work with partners Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Sales more than doubled to $49 million.

“With partners like that, it’s very feasible to stay independent for a long time,” said Musk, who owns about 27 percent of the company, according to Bloomberg data.

Tesla fell 10 cents to close at $26.72 at 5:20 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares are little changed this year.

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