General Motors made headlines this week with its announcement of an upcoming "summit meeting" for financial analysts, another sign that the General's IPO process might be getting under way. The Fool will be listening in on that summit -- we'll be posting our reactions on Wednesday -- but meanwhile, here are a few other stories you might have missed this week.
Tesla's totality of troubles
Tesla Motors is set to go public next week, and apparently that's not a moment too soon: According to a number of recent reports, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk -- and quite possibly Tesla Motors itself -- is out of cash.
Musk, who made a fortune co-founding PayPal and selling it to eBay
Tesla itself, of course, is famously a money pit -- the company has incurred some $290 million in losses since its founding in 2003. Its total revenue -- again, since 2003 -- stands at less than $150 million. That includes the $13.8 million that the company has made by selling carbon tax credits -- needed to meet California's strict emissions requirements -- to Honda
Tesla's hoping to raise over $200 million next week, via its IPO and a related private $50 million stock sale to Toyota
Tata on the move
Add India's Tata Motors
Tata, which acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford
Ford's global ups and downs
Tata isn't the only company looking at South Africa: Ford said this week that it would expand its South African truck plant, which produces Ford Ranger pickups for overseas markets, due to rapidly growing demand.
More significantly, Ford also announced that it would spend $450 million to build a major new car factory in Thailand, a key export hub for many Asian markets. Ford's presence in Asia has long trailed leaders General Motors and Volkswagen, and was for many years coupled with Mazda, which Ford once had a 33% stake in. Now, however, Ford is seeking to make up for lost time by moving away from Mazda and forging its own identity in Asia, with aggressive pushes already under way in India and China.
Meanwhile, however, Ford is bracing for a hit to European sales: Ford's European head, John Fleming, warned this week that second-quarter sales would be "much weaker" for Ford, with year-to-date sales down from weak 2009 numbers due to the discontinuation of various government car-buying incentives. Further pain may lie ahead, as the European auto industry as a whole has about 35% more production capacity than it needs, according to Fleming.
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