To help fill a gap in the production and sales of the Roadster, electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. has decided to extend its deal with British automaker Lotus.
Tesla had registered for an initial public offering worth $100 million in January but this status is threatened with the possibility that production of the sports car will be shut down for a year or more after 2011 due to tooling changes with an unnamed supplier.
Lotus supplies Tesla with "gliders," or partially assembled vehicles without the electric powertrain. The new agreement will ensure that Roadsters are kept in Tesla showrooms longer than expected.
The previous deal with Lotus, for 1,700 gliders, was slated to expire in March 2011. Due to the extension, Lotus will be able to provide at least 2,400 of the partially assembled vehicles.
In an amended Securities and Exchange Commission filing posted last Monday, the agreement is extended until December 2011, which will aid in fulfilling orders placed between 2011 and 2012.
It will still be quite a long wait for the next-generation Roadster as it won´t be produced until at least a year after the launch of its lower-priced Model S sedan, which will enter production in 2012.