Defending the free market.
Supporting consumer choice.
In a free market, manufacturers and retailers must adapt to changing economic forces and shifting consumer preferences. It is time that Michigan responds to the evolving market changes impacting the new car industry. Consumers want more choices and more convenience – they do not want to be forced by the government to buy their cars from a certain type of monopoly retailer. Customers want the freedom to buy cars in the manner they choose, unencumbered by government mandates.
New cars in Michigan can only be sold through franchised dealerships. It's the law. Governor Snyder said “A healthy, open discussion can and should be had over whether the current business model in Michigan should be changed,” and also called on the Legislature in Lansing to make this discussion “a top priority.” But that was 2 years ago!
Michigan law specifically outlaws plans by electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla to open Tesla stores and service centers in Michigan. Tesla’s sales and service locations are similar to Apple’s. They are owned and operated by Tesla, Inc. and not independent franchisees. Tesla owns and operates stores in 20 states across the country in addition to 35 countries around the world. Tesla stores employ dozens and bring millions of dollars in investment.
We think Tesla’s award-winning all-electric vehicles are a great addition to the marketplace, and we think consumers should be able to choose to shop at a Tesla store or a traditional dealership, depending on their preference and the kind of car they want to buy.
We’re ready to have that discussion urged by Gov. Snyder. We’re Michigan’s Freedom to Buy Coalition.
Never before has a new vehicle received such universal praise from automotive and business press. . . . but you still can't buy one in Michigan!
As car buyers in neighboring states get ready to welcome the amazing Model 3 to stores near them, Michigan residents are stuck with only the old technology being sold through the auto dealer monopoly in Michigan.
Column By Michael Clark, The Detroit News
When it comes to manufacturing jobs, Michigan might be its own worst enemy.
Tesla Motors plans to build a new factory for its Model Y crossover SUV, which could translate into thousands of manufacturing jobs. The company is likely to consider Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas as the site of the plant.
As you can tell, Michigan is not on the list. In 2014, Gov. Rick Snyder signed the controversial House Bill 5606, which prevents Tesla from selling its electric cars through company stores without a dealership network.
By Fred Lambert, Electrek
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has long been warning of the impact of Tesla’s fast pace of innovation in the auto industry. He even warned that Tesla’s Autopilot machine learning could potentially render all other cars obsolete.
Now Jonas suggests that the auto industry’s inability to match Tesla’s over-the-air software update capability could make them “highly vulnerable to obsolescence”.
The State of Michigan prevents Tesla from setting up any service centers and employing Michigan residents to fill them. Tesla must send cars to Ohio for repair, to the delight of Ohio residents and state government – they get the jobs and the tax revenue!
By Joe Rabin, Smarter Analyst
On Tuesday, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced plans to overhaul its customer service by setting up 100 service centers, rolling out 350 mobile service vans and hiring 1,400 technicians. The move comes in response to the company’s growing customer base and in preparation of its upcoming Model 3 sedan release. New service stations and vans will be strategically placed in cities around the US, corresponding to the highest number of pre-orders.
By Nick Sibilla, New York Times Op Ed
When President Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut responded that his state would continue its push to reduce its carbon footprint. “Connecticut has been a national leader in combating climate change,” he declared. “We have no plans of slowing down our efforts.”
Yet Connecticut is a surprising laggard when it comes to one obvious way to cut carbon emissions: Consumers are not allowed to buy electric vehicles without a costly middleman. Connecticut is one of at least six states that bans carmakers — including Tesla, the nation’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles — from opening their own storefronts and selling their cars directly to consumers.
By Charlotte Hue, Teslarati
...Out of a presumed 400,000 reservations for the Tesla Model 3, it is estimated that roughly half originate from the United States, according to the distribution of early Model 3 reservation data from Model3Tracker.info. Using a loosely estimated assumption of Tesla Model 3 reservations originating from banned states via Model3.ocasual.com, we get the following numbers: 1,250 in Louisiana, 2,980 in Connecticut, 3,076 in Utah, 15,670 in Texas, and 4,230 in Michigan.
The sales tax for Michigan is 6%, Louisiana is 9%, Connecticut is 6.35%, Utah is 4.7%, and Texas is 6.25%
This equates to a loss of $8,883,000 for Michigan, $3,937,500 for Louisiana, $34,278,125 for Texas, $6,623,050 for Connecticut, and $5,060,020 for Utah. That’s a total of $59,791,695 in loss revenue, which does not factor in current sales of Model S and Model X.
By Ian Thibodeau, The Detroit News
Tesla Inc. has found another way to introduce Michiganians to its electric vehicles — even if it still can’t open a store in the state.
The Silicon Valley startup now pegged as America’s most valuable automaker is hauling a custom Airstream travel-trailer around Michigan for several weeks. The trailer, pulled by a Tesla Model X SUV, is outfitted as a mobile design studio which shows all of Tesla’s options and allows potential buyers to design a vehicle — though they’ll have to go online or travel to a showroom in another state to actually purchase one.
Tesla was barred from opening a store in Michigan nearly three years ago when Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law banning automakers from selling vehicles directly to consumers.
By Marco dell Cava, USA Today
With four electric vehicle models either on sale or in development, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that the growing brand may be required to build at least three and "possibly as many as 10 or 20" new factories to keep up with expected demand.
Tesla's first mid-priced car, the Model 3, is due to start deliveries later this year. At Tuesday's shareholders' meeting, Musk talked about the next vehicle in development, the Model Y, crossover, and predicted that it will see the highest demand of any Tesla when it arrives in 2019.
It's a bold prediction given the more than 400,000 reservations that Tesla has already taken for the Model 3. In addition, Tesla offers two current luxury vehicles, the Model S sedan and Model X crossover. Complicating production issues, the Model Y won't be built on the same chassis as the Model 3, he said.
By Matthew DeBord, Business Insider
The auto industry is huge and touches the lives of almost everyone on the planet. But it's surprisingly devoid of truly gripping stories.
In fact, you can almost draw a straight line from Henry Ford to Elon Musk, with perhaps a few detours toward Enzo Ferrari, Preston Tucker, and John DeLorean along the way.
What Tesla's original founders and later Musk as CEO of the 13-year-old carmaker have achieved is simply astonishing — unprecedented, really.
By Arielle Berger, Business Insider
Tesla announced in April that it will be doubling the amount of Superchargers worldwide from 5,000 to 10,000 as they prepare for their first mass-market electric vehicle, the $35,000 Model 3.
According to Tesla, some stations will have the capability to charge several dozen Teslas at once, and others will be built further from the highway in an effort to make charging "ubiquitous in urban centers."
Here's a map of all the current and upcoming Superchargers. Current Superchargers are red and upcoming superchargers are gray. Zoom in to find Superchargers in your area.
By Gene Munster, Doug Clinton and Andrew Murphy for Loup Ventures
Apple is the world’s largest company with a market cap of nearly $770 billion as of this writing. Tesla is one of the world’s largest automakers with a market cap of close to $55 billion, although we think the Tesla story is just getting started.
There are many parallels between Apple about a decade ago and Tesla today, market cap being one of them. In Q4 2005, Apple’s market cap was close to where Tesla’s is today ($54 billion). A decade from now, we think we’ll look back at Tesla and realize it was the next Apple.
There are five major similarities to Tesla today and Apple in the mid-2000s:
Integrated hardware and software
Reshaping a market
By Tom Randall, Bloomberg News; Detroit News staff writer Melissa Burden contributed
Tesla is going to need more chargers. Lots of them...
...Michigan is set to receive eight new locations, according to a map of upcoming U.S. Supercharger locations. Superchargers are planned for Traverse City, Lansing, Battle Creek, Ludington, St. Clair Shores, Livonia and Auburn Hills by the end of the year. A station also is slated for Grayling with no timeline given.
Tesla has Superchargers in Cadillac, Grand Rapids, Bay City, Port Huron, St. Joseph and Ann Arbor. The automaker has been challenging Michigan law that prevents the company from selling cars here.
By Cadie Thompson, Business Insider
Tesla is about to significantly expand its retail presence.
Ahead of the Model 3 launch, the company is planning to add about 100 retail, delivery, and service locations around the world. This is about a 30% increase in facilities, the company said its first quarter investor letter.
The Editorial Board, USA Today
In taking on entrenched auto dealers, upstart carmaker becomes a champion of free enterprise.
These days there is nothing particularly unusual about high-flying tech companies. They often take off like rockets, sometimes falling back to earth, but sometimes achieving lofty heights and reinventing whole industries.
Thirteen years ago, for example, Facebook was a couple of guys in a dorm room. Today, its valuation of $404 billion is larger than the annual economic output of Thailand.
But electric car maker Tesla, which briefly surpassed General Motors this week to become America’s most valuable auto company, brings something new to the conversation. No company has had to fight harder for the right to do business as has Tesla.
By Bill Vlasic, The New York Times
DETROIT — By almost every measure, General Motors has been on a roll.
Its bellwether pickups and sport utility vehicles have hit the sweet spot in a record-setting American market for two years. The company is steadily increasing profits and revenue. And President Trump has vowed to ease regulations and put cars at the forefront of his crusade to add manufacturing jobs.
In short, G.M. has come a long way from a near-death experience eight years ago, when it filed for bankruptcy and needed a $49 billion government bailout. But apparently investors have yet to be convinced that G.M., the nation’s largest automaker, has put its troubled past behind it.
In a sign of how the industry’s future is being reimagined, the electric-car maker Tesla passed G.M. on Monday as America’s most valuable auto company.
With its stock gaining more than 3 percent for the day to $312.39, Tesla has a market capitalization of $50.9 billion, just a hair ahead of G.M.’s.
While the rise of Tesla is based on prospects rather than profits, G.M. is being dogged by its checkered history, and a perception on Wall Street that its days as a dominant force are over.
Daniel Howes in The Detroit News
Don’t blame Tesla Inc. for becoming the most valuable American automaker Monday, if only briefly...
...Chairman Elon Musk’s Tesla is a different cat. He’s selling a vision of the future largely unencumbered by a legacy past — no unions and no plant closings, no bankruptcies and no asset sales, no long history of insular management standing astride reality yelling stop....
...Still, Tesla generates enthusiasm among its loyal customers (and whose who would be, witness the $1,000 deposits for its Model 3 running in the hundreds-of-thousands). If Musk can deliver on the promise to produce 500,000 copies of the new $40,000 model by the end of next year, it will redefine the industry.
For the first time, Tesla Inc. passed Ford Motor Co. in market capitalization as the electric car maker raised its mark to $48.7 billion.
Ford ended Monday's trading at $45.6 billion with General Motors resting at $51.2 billion, Bloomberg reports.
Company CEO Elon Musk was not shy in poking the short-seller bears after jumping the No. 2 U.S. automaker in market value and moving closer to No. 1 General Motors.
Detroit Free Press
How in the world does a fifth-grader give advice to a tech billionaire? Write a letter.
That’s what 10-year-old Bria Loveday of Michigan did. She wrote Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, telling him that he should hold a contest to see who can make the best homemade ad for the electric car company. She noted that many of Tesla’s fans already make homemade ads, and “they look professional and they are entertaining.”
By Chris Woodyard , USA TODAY
Tesla's most affordable option, the highly anticipated Model 3, can do 0-60 in under 6 seconds and get at least 215 miles per charge.
Tesla offered assurances Wednesday that the launch of its first mass-market electric car, the Model 3, remains on track as it issued fourth-quarter results that cut its losses and beat revenue estimates.
Investors were cheered. Tesla shares rose 1.5% in afterhours trading to $266.67 a share, up $4.16.
The electric car maker is under intense scrutiny as it transitions its focus from its two current vehicles, the luxury Model S sedan and Model X crossover, to its high-production model. It said in its earnings release that Model 3 is "on track" with limited production due to start in July.
It plans to keep ramping up Model 3 production until it hits 5,000 cars a week in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles a week in 2018. Tesla has taken more than 400,000 reservations for what could be a breakthrough car when it comes to electrification of the automotive industry. It will be expensive to start Model 3 production, with Tesla saying it will invest $2 billion to $2.5 billion to ramp up its factory.
By Rob Sisson in the Detroit News
The Michigan Legislature adjourned last year without addressing the antiquated law limiting new-car sales and now the risk increases that the birthplace of automotive innovation will be the last place on Earth embracing the future of new-car innovation and technology. That’s because Michigan is one of only a handful of jurisdictions on the entire planet where it is illegal for auto manufacturers to sell cars directly to consumers. Manufacturers are even barred from opening service centers in Michigan.
Everyone is aware that General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other brands are sold through dealers, and that those dealers also have service centers to provide maintenance and repairs. Not everyone knows that state law grants auto dealers with a monopoly limiting consumer options.
Some car companies don’t want to follow that model. They want to sell directly to their customers and provide any needed service.
By Melissa Burden, The Detroit News
Tesla Motors Inc., which can’t legally sell a car in Michigan, has opened a gallery showroom at Nordstrom in Troy’s Somerset Collection where consumers can look — but not buy.
The Palo Alto, California-based electric carmaker on Thursday opened a 700-square-foot Tesla Gallery on the first floor of the department store, Nordstrom store manager Stephanie Johns said. Tesla confirmed the gallery, which is staffed with Michigan Tesla employees and showcases a single white Model X SUV, will be open for at least six months. It’s the first Tesla gallery in the state.
Thanks to an earlier ruling being overturned, Tesla will build a dealership in Virginia's capital
Tesla notched a victory in the ongoing battle with states over dealership franchise laws.
In a decision released Wednesday, Richard Holcomb, commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, reversed a September ruling denying Tesla a dealership license to operate a store in Richmond.
By Dan Crane, Detroit Free Press, October 14, 2016
Michigan remains one of the shrinking number of states to prohibit a car manufacturer like Tesla Motors from opening its own showrooms and service centers and dealing directly with customers. Instead, Michigan requires car manufacturers to use franchised dealers for all customer transactions. Most other states have recognized that allowing consumers to choose between franchised dealerships and company stores is good for competition, innovation and consumer choice.
By Nathan Leamer, Detroit News, October 11, 2016
Michigan has made great strides in its dramatic rebound from the economic doldrums of the Great Recession, helped by efforts to reduce unnecessary red tape and to create an environment friendly to innovation and opportunity.
But unless state policymakers remain steadfast in challenging entrenched special interests and allowing new business models to flourish, this recovery may soon hit an arbitrary ceiling. Tesla’s struggle to bring their new approach to auto sales to Michigan is emblematic of why the state’s policymakers must embrace the future.
By Alex Roy, TheDrive.com
I shall now explain how to save the American car industry.
We begin with Keith Crain — Editor-In-Chief of Automotive News and Autoweek — who is simply wrong.
So wrong that I've written 2000+ words in response to his 419.
Yahoo News, October 7, 2016
If it were up to consumers, where would they prefer to buy a car? That is the question posed by the chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Jeff Carlson, who answered his own question, saying consumers prefer the status quo conventional car dealer model, according to Electrek . A recent Harris Poll, suggests otherwise, that consumers are not satisfied with the traditional dealership model.
Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press
A Tesla Motors executive said today that Michigan's denial of the electric car makers license to sell cars directly to consumers won't help a future bid by the state to attract a Tesla assembly plant.
Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla vice president of business development, spoke Thursday morning at the World Mobility Leadership Forum at the Westin Metro Airport. He said Tesla has dozens, "if not hundreds of suppliers" in Michigan, including a tool and die operation in Grand Rapids, but that didn't help its effort to get a retail license.
Brent Snavely and Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press
Electric automaker Tesla filed a lawsuit today against state officials, escalating its multi-year battle to sell vehicles directly to consumers in Michigan.
Detroit News, August 23, 2016
Tesla Motors says a new version of the Model S electric car is the quickest production car in the world to reach 60 mph.
The company says the Model S P100D sedan can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
DETROIT - Tesla Motors may be banned from selling its vehicles directly to consumers in Michigan, but that hasn't stopped the state's Department of Treasury from investing in 339,623 shares worth some $72 million for state retirement funds.