Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is fighting yet another battle in yet another state to defend its direct selling model. This time, in Michigan, the company is challenging legislation that will prevent it from directly selling or servicing its vehicles in the state.
Michigan turns anti-Tesla
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s sales model goes against the conventional franchise model used by the auto industry to sell vehicles. Most states have franchise laws that prohibit manufacturers from setting up company-owned retail stores. Michigan is known as the spiritual home of America’s auto industry, and last week, both chambers of Michigan’s legislature approved the bills that consider Tesla Motors’ selling model unfair.
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On Thursday, in an interview with The Wall Street journal, Tesla Motors regulatory chief James Chen said that they have met with authorities in the state in an attempt to stop the legislation.
“We are playing a game of whack-a-mole in every state,” Chen said, adding that in Michigan, the company is not even allowed to have a gallery featuring its cars, something that has not been seen in the bans placed by other states.
Musk ends suspense on “D”
Ending the suspense on the “D,” Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s CEO on Thursday unveiled an all-wheel-drive version of the Model S that also has a self-driving feature called “auto pilot.”
With the announcement, Musk ended week-long speculations following his tweet saying, “About time to unveil the D and something else.” Musk said that “D” stands for “dual motor.” The Model S, which presently has one motor, will now have two motors–one for the front wheels and another for the rear ones. The new Model S will have a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour, compared to the present speed of 210 km/h. Similar to other sports cars, the new version will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
Separately, Credit Suisse has a $325 price target on Tesla and considers the automaker to be a top pick. Credit Suisse analyst Dan Galves believes that the battery-powered cars “have inherent advantages vs. internal combustion vehicles” and that electric vehicles have the potential to dominate the $1 trillion new vehicle industry.
Galves sees “major battery cost reductions as highly probable and leading to near cost parity to internal combustion vehicles by 2017.”