Tesla’s Musk Says Model S Sold Out; Profit Likely in 2013

Tesla Motors Inc., a U.S. maker of electric cars, is sold out of next year’s production of its new Model S sedan and should earn a profit in 2013, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

The company has orders for “more than 6,500” units of Model S to be built next year, Musk said. The premium electric sedan will retail for as little as about $50,000, half the price of Tesla’s current Roadster sports car, he said.

“They’re mostly new buyers,” Musk, 40, said in an interview on “In The Loop With Betty Liu” today. “Only about 600 people who have ordered Roadsters have also bought the Model S.”

Tesla, which counts Daimler AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. as investors, aims to deliver the electric sedans by mid-2012 as the Palo Alto, California-based company works to be the first profitable maker of battery-powered autos. The company has yet to report an annual profit.

That may happen in 2013, Musk said. The company is scheduled to announce financial results for the quarter that ended on Sept. 30 on Nov. 2.

Tesla and Fisker Automotive Inc., maker of plug-in hybrid luxury vehicles, have drawn scrutiny this month for low-cost federal loans they received in 2009, following the bankruptcy of solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, which also received U.S. loans.

That won’t be a drag on Tesla’s share price, Musk said.

“I do not think so,” he said. “We are not in the same loan program as Solyndra.”

Tesla rose 3.9 percent to $29.87 at the close in New York.