Tesla (TSLA) May Take Direct-Sales Fight to Federal Level as States Largely Mixed

September 9, 2013 10:50 AM EDT
Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is lower on the session amid CEO Elon Musk starting his six-day, 3,200-mile cross-country road trip in a Model S sedan to dispel media concerns over battery charging times and distance limitations.

Part of the reason might be a Auto News write-up, which paints Tesla in a challenging landscape as plans to win over lawmakers on direct-sales policies is being met with mixed results.

Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's VP of business development, said, If responding to these dealers associations' actions becomes too much of a distraction, then it would be natural to pursue a federal solution...It doesn't mean that would be easy to obtain...We're very realistic about that -- but I certainly think it would be a lively debate in Washington.

Tesla has garnered positive attention over the last half-year or so. Momentum build in April as the company announced it would record its first profitable quarter in 10 years of being a company. The Model S also received some of the highest marks given out by Consumer Reports during its road test of the Model S, while the sedan also received exceptional marks in its NHTSA crash test.

In the past, Musk as said he'd be open to a dealership-type model, but not until volumes begin to pick up. Currently, Tesla plans to ship 21,000 vehicles in 2013 and just about double that number in 2014.

After trading at all-time highs last week, Tesla is down 4.8 percent Monday.

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