- Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2012

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors will start to deliver its new Model S sedan to customers Friday. Here are some key events in the company’s history.

July 2003 _ Tesla Motors is founded in California by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.

April 2004 _ Billionaire PayPal founder Elon Musk invests in Tesla and joins the board.

August 2006 _ Actor George Clooney is among those who put down $100,000 deposits for the first 100 Tesla Roadster electric sports cars. Tesla says the cars will be delivered in mid-2007.

February 2007 _ Tesla says it will build a $35 million plant in Albuquerque, N.M., to produce the Model S.

September 2007 _ Tesla delays launch of the Roadster, saying it needs more time to test its durability.

November 2007 _ Eberhard is ousted. He later sues Tesla, but the suit is eventually dropped.

March 2008 _ Tesla begins production of the $109,000 Roadster. It will eventually sell 2,150 Roadsters. The company announces it will sell the Model S by 2010.

June 2008 _ Tesla cancels its plans to build a plant in New Mexico after California gives it tax breaks. First Tesla store opens in Los Angeles.

October 2008 _ Musk becomes CEO and says Model S will be delayed until the company gets federal loans, citing the global financial crisis.

March 2009 _ Tesla starts taking reservations for the Model S and says production will begin in late 2011. More than 500 people reserve the sedans in the first week.

June 2009 _ Tesla gets approval for $465 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy to produce the Model S.

August 2009 _ Tesla announces it’s moving its headquarters from San Carlos, Calif., to a larger site in Palo Alto, Calif., where it will also build electric drive systems.

January 2010 _ Tesla registers for an initial public offering of stock.

May 2010 _ Tesla buys a former Toyota and General Motors factory in Fremont, Calif., for $42 million. The company will eventually employ 1,000 people at the plant making the Model S.

May 2010 _ Toyota Motor Corp. and Tesla say they will cooperate on electric vehicle development. Toyota agrees to purchase Tesla shares.

June 2010 _ Tesla shares begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. They gain 40.5 percent from their IPO price of $17 to close at $23.89. The IPO raises $226.1 million.

January 2011 _ Tesla, reporting full-year financial results for the first time, says it lost $154.3 million in 2010.

January 2012 _ Tesla shares fall when two key engineers resign on the same day. Tesla ends production of the Roadster to focus on the Model S.

February 2012 _ Tesla reveals the Model X small SUV and says it will go on sale in early 2014.

May 2012 _ Tesla shares jump when the company announces it will deliver the Model S to its first customers on June 22.


Sources: Tesla and AP archives.

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