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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) News: Progressive Policies, Incredible Marketing & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)Did Ray Lane Cost Kleiner Perkins a Slice of Tesla Motors? (BusinessWeek)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is no stranger to intrigue. He’s been teasing the Hyperloop for months and has plans for a massive space colony on Mars dancing away in his head. Last year, during an interview, Musk stirred the pot again, disclosing that a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers had caused the venture capital firm to miss out on investing in Tesla. Musk, though, declined to name the partner. Well, we’re here to help. As Musk tells it, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) at one point had the choice of taking $70 million from VantagePoint Capital Partners or $50 million from Kleiner Perkins. Musk told Kleiner that he’d be willing to take their lower offer if John Doerr, one of the firm’s famed partners, would join the Tesla board. “But John felt that he had too many obligations and that there was another partner at Kleiner who really wanted the deal and so he could not supplant that person,” Musk said last year.

Tesla Quietly Updates Model S Service Loaner Purchase Plan (HybridCars)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has taken pains to offer perceptibly progressive service policies including one in which Model S owners are entitled to an as-good-as or better Model S loaner car delivered to their location in exchange for their car needing service. It’s a sweet deal, and the policy was announced by company Chairman, Product Architect & CEO Elon Musk in April. The way it was originally presented is if customers like the loaner car, they could buy it at a pre-arranged price. This rather unique policy is one of several accommodations Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is attempting to offer to make for an exemplary ownership “experience.”

Tesla Motors (TSLA) Becoming Key Customer for Battery OEMs (StreetInsider)
According to Wedbush, Samsung has been qualified as a battery vendor for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). In the view of analyst Craig Irwin, this is important because it shows battery OEMs are taking Tesla seriously. “We believe that before any substantial supply relationship develops, it is likely Tesla will enter into a contract similar to the Panasonic contract that was inked on July 21, 2009. The October 2011 renewal of the Panasonic contract provides a supply agreement with Panasonic for 80,000 vehicles over four years. We speculate that discussions with Samsung may be a coordinated move, while Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) negotiates terms with Panasonic for supply of the additional cells needed for additional pack production that is expected to exceed terms of the original agreement,” said Irwin.

Like Tesla, BMW Starts a Dealer Fight of Its Own (WallStCheatSheet)
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have found a potentially powerful ally in its fight against the traditional dealership model, which has been threaded through legislation in a number of states to prevent companies from selling their vehicles directly to the public. Germany’s own BMW is also pushing for web-based sales of its upcoming electric i3 model in its home country, in a case incredibly reminiscent of Tesla’s fight with dealer networks domestically. However, the backlash that BMW is getting is coming from its own dealerships, rather than dealers of other vehicles.

Besides Tesla, no one actually wants to make electric cars (TheStarPhoenix)
It may be that only Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) can sell electric cars but also, in fact, that few other than Tesla want to sell electric cars. Hot on the heels of the news that Tesla has blown right past the 400-a-week production mark comes the eagerly reported news that the company plans to start assembling no less than 800 Tesla S units a week by the end of 2014. Those are phenomenal numbers, heady enough stuff that even a loud-mouthed electric car skeptic must stand up and applaud CEO Elon Musk’s incredible marketing ability (even if, in my heart of hearts, I suspect that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s success has more to do with it being the trendy supercar du jour than its electrified motivation).

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