Are Scorned Car Dealerships Making Tesla Sexier Than Ever?
As Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) continues its charge as the “it” company of the moment, the dealership-free electric car company is getting a hand from the same dealers who grind their teeth when speaking the name Elon Musk. Instead of forcing Tesla back into its shell, Business Week’s Kyle Stock thinks dealers who want the luxury electric cars banned are doing the brand a favor.
Dealerships have a case to make, as laws exist that “protect” car buyers from the auto companies selling to them directly. Even though people would be happy to forego negotiations in order to get their hands on a car at the right price, car dealers can make their point effectively, as they’ve already done in North Carolina, where legislators are ready to put the kibosh on Tesla sales. Car companies like GM (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) would be happy to go direct as well, but that day won’t arrive any time soon.
Will car dealers ultimately make Tesla look more attractive than ever? It would certainly make a Tesla look like a hot ticket while the buzz around the company is impossible to ignore. From its fantastic earnings report to its meteoric rise on the stock exchange, Tesla is playing with the house’s money. In fact, having announced it would pay back its ATVM loan twice as fast as scheduled, Tesla was able to shed its negative associations to more troubled economic times.
News that the company was raising over $1 billion via stock sales and other moves only generated more favorable press for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk. Though additional stock offerings were part of this money pile, Tesla’s price refused to dip on any level following the news. Shares were up nearly 20 percent for the week just before the close of Friday trading.
Texas car dealerships have succeeded in keeping Tesla sales out of Texas. Despite the objections of Musk, consumers have to head out of state to pick up a chic, earth-friendly Tesla ride. North Carolina will probably be next on the list. Would direct sales be bad for the consumer in the end? That question is up for debate. What’s certain is that more press for Tesla — especially press that posits them as industry innovator yet again — will likely make the car brand hotter than ever.
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