Tesla Roadster Selling Above List Price

PALO ALTO, Calif. (TheStreet) -- The price of Tesla (TSLA) shares may have fallen since cresting above $30 the day after the automaker's IPO, but Tesla cars have been selling well above their list price.

A study by TrueCar shows that the average sales price of the Tesla Roadster, a $100,000 car, has been running about $5,000 above list during the past four weeks.

"We just ran vehicles selling at or above sticker pricing, and No. 1 was Tesla," said TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak late Tuesday. No. 2 is the Ford ( F) 2011 Mustang Shelby GT500, which is selling for about $900 over its sticker price. No. 3. is a Mustang competitor, General Motors' 2011 Camaro LS, selling for about $400 over sticker price.

Monthly sales of the Tesla Roader are limited to several dozen -- only about 900 Roadsters were sold in 2009. Nevertheless, the sales trend was "very positive," said Toprak. "A lot of people had deposits on the car, so some people may have paid a whole lot more than list to get one."

Toprak noted that Tesla's long-term success will be based not on selling a thousand $100,000 cars a year, but rather on far larger sales of its S car, expected to sell for about $50,000 after a $7,500 tax credit. "It looks a lot more expensive than a $50,000 car," he said. The S car will be available in 2012.

Tesla went public on June 29 at $17 a share and opened at $19 a share. The stock traded as high as $30.42 on June 30, before falling back.

Shares closed Tuesday at $18.49, up $1.09, after Tesla said it will deliver electric-car prototypes to partner Toyota ( TM) later this month.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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