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Continued: Minnesota sales of electric, gas cars collide

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 13, 2013 - 7:13 AM

The original Minnesota dealer law was intended to prevent Ford or General Motors from selling the same car models in competition with their own dealers, and it worked, Lambert said.

The differences in Tesla’s case appear to be that it has never had Minnesota dealers and would be selling cars that are completely different from those sold by existing dealers.

O’Connell said Tesla’s retail business model reflects the fact that it is a small company that can’t afford expensive dealerships or big advertising budgets. The publicly traded company lost $396 million last year on sales of $413 million, but is projecting its first profit in the first quarter.

“We sell cars directly because it serves our business purpose and supports new technology,” O’Connell said.

 

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

 

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