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Tesla CEO Musk Admits Fault for Creative Finance Calculator

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted that the automaker’s online finance calculator was misleading and has confirmed it will be fixed to not include non-financial factors in the online monthly payment.

Musk admitted fault with the calculator during a conference call on Friday, stating that Tesla was in the wrong, and the media was right to criticize it. The online calculator displays the monthly cost of owning a Tesla under its lease-to-buy offer. Problem is, the calculator included factors such as time saved by not having to pump gas, helping lower the monthly payment presented to shoppers with non-cash savings.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Resale Value to be Industry’s Best, Says CEO Musk

Tesla will be fixing the online calculator so that the cost savings estimates are more conservative.

“We were wrong, those people were right,” he said. “We need to fix it.”

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Tesla Stock Tops $100 for First Time

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk must be feeling good today. The share price for his electric car company gained 7.7 percent today and rose to $104.58 shortly after noon.

Bloomberg reports that the company’s shares were trading in high volume with 9.3 million changing hands compared to the 5.9 million daily average. Through May 24 the shares have almost tripled in value.

Last week the company fully repaid its debt to the Department of Energy years in advance. Tesla gathered a frenzy of media attention after reporting its first quarterly profit of $11 million.

Tesla is expected to make an announcement about the expansion of its supercharger network soon. The announcement was initially expected last week, but Musk delayed it citing the loan repayment as the reason.

[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at TeslaForums.com

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S Gets $2,500 Price Increase

The Tesla Model S is getting a bump up in price, and will now start with a base price of $59,900 before federal tax credits. 

Tesla points out that general inflation has increased by 8.75 percent since the original Model S was priced, which should have increased the price by $5,000, but instead Tesla only tacked on an extra $2,500. Every model gets the same price increase of $2,500, which puts the 60-kWh model at $69,900, and the 85-kWh model at $79,900.

New features include 12-way adjustable, heated front seats as standard equipment, and new standard 19-inch wheels for performance model cars. Adding on 21-inch wheels will cost you $3,500 extra, and a new red multi-coat paint shade is also available, for $1,500.

Battery pack replacements were also priced by the brand, with the price of a 40 kWh pack starting at $8,000. Another $2,000 gets the 60 kWh pack, and the 85 kWh pack costs another $2,000 on top of that.

By Stephen Elmer

Massachusetts Dealer Denied Injunction Against Tesla

The Automobile Dealers Association in the state of Massachusetts was denied a request for a preliminary injunction against Tesla Motors Inc., which allows the American automaker to continue operating its store in Boston.

The dealers requested the Massachusetts Superior Court for a restraining order and injunction in hopes of stopping the Tesla-owned showroom from operating. The group is now considering an appeal and other judicial remedies, but currently hasn’t made a decision as to its next step.

“Tesla looks forward to continuing to focus on advancing the knowledge of EVs in a convenient, accessible environment,” said Shanna Hendriks, Tesla spokeswoman in an email. “We remain hopeful for a positive outcome of this case.”

SEE ALSO: Tesla Sued by Auto Dealers Association

One thing is for sure, the lawsuit isn’t going to be dropped any time soon according to Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts association.

“Dropping the lawsuit is not an option at this point,” he said. “We feel very strongly that Tesla is operating a factory store outside parameters of our franchise law and our license law, and they are operating that store illegally.”

The injunction is part of an ongoing lawsuit in both Massachusetts and New York, where members of the Automotive Trade Association believe that Tesla is operating illegal dealerships in those states. The Tesla stores, which are mainly boutiques located in shopping malls and other high-traffic areas, have come under attack even though the automaker states that they comply with federal and state laws where they operate.

[Source: Automotive News]

By Jason Siu

Daimler Deserves Credit for Saving Tesla Says CEO

American electric automaker Tesla is enjoying great success, at least in terms of the EV market, and its CEO Elon Musk credits Daimler for saving the automaker in its time of need.

Three years ago, Daimler invested a hefty $50 million into Tesla Motors, a move that surprised even the most enthusiastic Tesla supporters. In a recent interview, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla Motors would now be extinct if Daimler hadn’t stepped in with its funding. In Musk’s own words, “There were a couple of near-death situations.”

Surprised? The bold CEO now has no problems sharing his thoughts on competitor Fisker, and Tesla is clearly heading towards in the right direction. Had Daimler not stepped into the picture however, we wouldn’t be speaking about Tesla at all today, and who knows where Musk would be in terms of finances.

Thankfully Musk confirmed that Tesla’s financial status is “pretty good” and we should be seeing plenty more from the automaker for years to come.

[Source: Autoblog]

By Jason Siu

Tesla DOE Loan Repayment to Finish Years Early

With confidence in spades, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said yesterday that the electric car maker will repay its $465 million government loan in “five years or less.”

The announcement came just days after Musk said he expects the company to be profitable in 2013. Indeed, deliveries of the brand’s second vehicle – the Model S – have picked up with  2,400 shipped in the fourth quarter compared to only 250 during the previous three.

Despite that, Tesla is still losing money so far. The company posted a loss of $89.9 million in the fourth quarter.

SEE ALSO: Chinese Volvo Owners Likely to Buy Fisker

Tesla is faring relatively well, though, compared to automakers like Fisker. Last year the maker of the exotic Karma plug-in hybrid suffered a salvo of negative press after several of its cars caught fire in separate scenarios. Now, Fisker is looking for possible suitors.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

 [Source: Automotive News]

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S Rated a 99 Out of 100 by Consumer Reports

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The Tesla Model S continues to earn rave reviews, the latest coming from the notoriously picky team at Consumer Reports.

In recent testing of the American-made electric luxury sedan the outlet says getting behind the wheel, “is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future.” But the praise doesn’t stop there.

After performing the same thorough test as all of its cars, CR says the Model S, “is brimming with innovation, delivers world-class performance, and is interwoven throughout with impressive attention to detail.”

SEE ALSO: Click Here to Build and Price Your Tesla Model S

As a result, the car has earned the highest rating the consumer outlet has bestowed on a car: 99 out of 100.

Perhaps the closest rival, the Porsche Panamera, earned an 84, while the plug-in Karma sedan from the nearly bankrupt Fisker company was slapped with a paltry score of 57.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Wins AutoGuide.com Reader’s Choice Car of the Year

Calling it, “the most practical electric car we’ve tested,” it also delivers performance that CR says, “will make many sports cars weep with envy.”

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Colum Wood

Tesla Model X Interior is Shockingly Nice: 2013 Detroit Auto Show

While we’ve seen the Model X electric crossover concept before, the vehicle sitting at the Tesla booth at this year’s Detroit Auto Show is sporting a few modifications.

The main changes to the Model X are with the interior. Tesla calls the vehicle’s cabin an exploration in interior design, and it really is stunning with gorgeous black and white contrasting colors. The black-and-white look is reflected both in the three-rows of seats, as well as the stylish exterior, which features black and chrome accents that show off the white paint. The theme carries over to the vehicles dashboard which  is equipped with the same huge touch-screen that was first seen in the Model S sedan.

SEE MORE: Complete 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The Model X still has those very cool ‘Falcon doors’ and with production slated for late this year, its likely that design will be final.

The electric-only crossover will be available with either a 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery, as well as a handy all-wheel drive mode.

GALLERY: TESLA MODEL X

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Discuss this story at Gas Stinks!

By Sami Haj-Assaad

Tesla Model X Delayed

As Tesla hopes to repay its DOE loan five years ahead of schedule, the American electric automaker will be delaying production on the Model X for at least a year.

Tesla originally was on schedule to repay its $465 million loan by the end of 2022, but announced earlier that it now has a target date of repaying the loan by the end of 2017. Unfortunately, those that are eager for the Model X to hit the market will have to be patient, as Tesla now plans on starting production of its electric crossover to late 2014.

SEE ALSO: Tesla DOE Loan Repayment to Finish Years Early

The Tesla Model X was originally slated to begin production later this year, with deliveries beginning early 2014. However, Tesla is also putting more focus on its surprisingly popular Model S, hoping to deliver 20,000 units of its sedan this year. With more focus being placed on the Model S and repayment of the loan, the Model X will just have to sit back and wait its turn.

GALLERY: TESLA MODEL X

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[Source: LA Times]

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Tesla Retail Stores Defended by Brand CEO

Elon Musk, tech mogul and co-founder of Tesla is coming to the defense of his company as it faces a lawsuit from dealers in Massachusetts and New York.

They allege the Palo Alto, California-based electric-car maker is violating franchise laws that forbid factory-owned stores, something that’s restricted or prohibited in 48 states. Naturally, Musk denies this claim. In a blog post he said the company has taken “great care not to act in a manner contrary to those rules.” He backs up this assertion with several arguments.

The first point he makes is that most dealerships have an inherent conflict of interest. Pushing consumers toward electric cars undermines the sales of traditional vehicles, which is the majority of their business. Tesla, of course, does not have this problem.

Another one of Musk’s arguments centers on franchise laws. Factory-owned Tesla dealerships cannot unfairly compete with franchised dealers because there are no franchised Tesla stores, therefore no harm can be done.

One of his last points has to do with the location of Tesla dealers. By putting them in high-traffic areas like shopping malls Tesla hopes it can reach potential customers before they decide what kind of car to buy. The stores are staffed by non-commissioned salespeople are there to educate consumers. Vehicles are purchased from the company’s website.

By Craig Cole