Written by Jennifer Kho
Just a few months ago, Tesla Motors was touting its plans to build a $250 million factory for its second model, while boasting that it would reach production of up to 50,000 vehicles a year and go public.
"Tesla has amazing momentum right now. The excitement within the company is palpable," Tesla Chairman Elon Musk said in a written statement in September.
Then last week, things changed. The company announced layoffs, the second CEO switch in less than a year -- putting Musk in the top position -- and the delay of its second model, the Model S sedan.Tesla Motors has clearly had a tough year, said Jeffrey Ball, news editor of The Wall Street Journal, at a conference in Redwood City, Calif., Tuesday. New CEO Musk, who fielded questions from Ball at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy Innovations conference, said that market conditions led to those decisions. "We were very bullish four to six weeks ago, as was the market," he said. "Then the market went into freefall." Tesla Motors needed to raise $100 million, but the weakening economy made it unlikely the company would be able to get a good deal, said Musk, who also is the chairman of Tesla and of solar-installer SolarCity, as well as the CEO of spaceflight startup SpaceX and a co-founder of PayPal