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Electric vehicle pioneer hits more bumps

Legal battle pits former and current chief executives of Tesla Motors

SAN CARLOS, California – There was a time not long ago when claiming paternity of electric car maker Tesla Motors was more of an admission than a boast.

Plagued by production delays, management missteps and the worsening economy, the company laid off 10 percent of its workers last year. But the company says it is now on the brink of profitability and the Tesla Roadster is fast becoming a hot Hollywood status symbol, counting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and actors George Clooney and Dustin Hoffman as customers.

Perhaps most important, the company has replenished its treasury with an investment from Germany’s Daimler AG and a low-interest loan of $465 million from the U.S. government.

And yet, these are still not happy times in the company’s executive offices in San Carlos, in the heart of Silicon Valley south of San Francisco.


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