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Tesla electric car output, revenue slow

A Tesla Motors electric sports car charges in

A Tesla Motors electric sports car charges in the automakers showroom in San Jose, Calif. Credit: Bloomberg News, 2011

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. said it is bringing in less money because of supplier problems and other delays in ramping up production of its Model S sporty hatchback.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday, the Palo Alto, Calif., automaker said it has had trouble producing the number of vehicles it anticipated since launching production of the car in June.

Tesla said it will generate $44 million to $46 million in third-quarter sales, compared with the roughly $80 million analysts had previously projected.

Tesla also said Tuesday it has been told by the U.S. Energy Department that it must devise a speedier repayment schedule for $465 million in government loans it received. Tesla got the request after it got a waiver on existing terms for the loans regarding financial ratios it must maintain.

Tesla said its Model S, the vehicle whose production has been slower than expected, "is an all-new vehicle, which we are producing with new employees using new equipment. As our main focus is on quality, we have methodically increased our Model S production at a rate slower than we had earlier anticipated."

Tesla also said, "Certain suppliers have experienced delays in meeting our demand, and we continue to focus on supplier capabilities and constraints."

The Model S is a luxury hatchback that offers seating for five adults and sells for about $50,000 to more than $100,000 depending on trim level and options. It is fast, boasting a zero-to-60 miles per hour acceleration of less than six seconds. The car has received rave reviews from the automotive media.

Tesla also cut its annual revenue projection because of the delays. It said it will now bring in between $400 million and $440 million this year, down from previous estimates of $560 million to $600 million.

The automaker announced plans to raise more money via a stock offering of 4.3 million shares and has granted the underwriter, Goldman Sachs, a 30-day option to buy almost 700,000 additional shares.

Tesla also said it is about to open the first locations in its "Tesla Supercharger network," a group of company-operated solar-powered electric charging stations that will allow Tesla drivers to charge their vehicles as they drive across California. It will take about 30 minutes to give the vehicles a charge that lasts about 150 miles.

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