Tesla’s over-the-air software updates make other vehicles ‘highly vulnerable to obsolescence’, says analyst

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”. 

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Tesla Set to Expand Customer Service (Except In Michigan)

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!

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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.

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Connecticut Should Be Tesla Country (So Should Michigan)

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.

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Tesla Sales Ban Estimated to Cost Michigan $9 Million Each Year in Lost Tax Revenue

Tesla Sales Ban Estimated to Cost Michigan $9 Million Each Year in Lost Tax Revenue

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. 

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Tesla to haul mobile showcase around Michigan

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.

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CEO Elon Musk says Tesla will need more factories

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.

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Tesla has the greatest story in the history of cars — and that should terrify automakers

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.

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Here are the new Superchargers Tesla is adding in 2017 (8 in Michigan!)

Here are the new Superchargers Tesla is adding in 2017 (8 in Michigan!)

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.

Tesla is the next Apple (Except there are Apple Stores In Michigan- MIF2B note)

Tesla is the next Apple (Except there are Apple Stores In Michigan- MIF2B note)

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:

Brand
Visionary leadership
Integrated hardware and software
Halo effect
Reshaping a market 

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Tesla amps up number of Supercharger stations in Michigan

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.

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(Except In Michigan) Tesla is building stores all over the world ahead of the Model 3 launch

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.

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Tesla powers ahead: Our view

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.

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G.M. Takes a Back Seat to Tesla as America’s Most Valued Carmaker

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.

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Howes: Burden of history weighs on Detroit vs. Tesla

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.

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Tesla passes Ford in market value for 1st time, moves closer to GM

MLive.com

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. 

Read the entire story here

Tesla CEO Elon Musk likes advice he gets from Michigan 10-year-old

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.”

Read the article here

Tesla will start making mass-market Model 3 in July

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.

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Column: Open direct Tesla sales in Michigan

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.

Read the entire column here

Tesla opens gallery showroom in Nordstrom Troy store

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.

Read the entire story here

Virginia DMV: Tesla can open store in Richmond

from Autoweek

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.

Read the entire story