Minnesota sales of electric, gas cars collide

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

A messy, behind-the-scenes battle is underway in Minnesota over the way the electric car and its gas-powered adversaries are sold.

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rykytrMar. 12, 1311:32 PM

Tesla Motors got a nearly 500 MILLION dollar loan from the government that they don't have to begin paying back until 2017 or later. Obama handed them a 500 million dollar tax payer funded check and they are selling 2,500 cars a year for $17 million in proceeds and losing 396 million a year doing it. This fiasco won't last another year.

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rykytrMar. 12, 1311:34 PM

Your tax dollars at work. Subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of a half-a-billion dollars (Obama “investing” your money), Tesla Corporation — and by extension, the feds — has been embarrassed by car journalist Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear TV show on BBC. It seems a Tesla Roadster when driven hard on the track (and owners who shell out six-figures for sports cars like to know these things) goes a mere 55 miles. Not the 200 that Tesla’s PR machine claims. What’s more, Top Gear — which does not yet suffer from green political correctness like car mags stateside — says the “car of the future” takes 16 hours to recharge, and recommends (tongue planted firmly in cheek) that buyers shell out another $100,000 for a second Tesla while the other one recharges. Ouch. Welcome to the real world, electric cars. Tesla’s response? Sue ’em!

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zythrynMar. 13, 1312:02 AM

I do not believe the government should be dictating business models. Personally, I hate dealing with dealerships anyway.

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exrepublicanMar. 13, 1312:31 AM

So, rykytr, are you a paid professional poster employed by one of the many front groups for the Koch brothers and Exxon-Mobil--or just another teapartier who repeats right-wing talking points he hears on AM radio?

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janicemertzMar. 13, 13 1:53 AM

The funds, provided by the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program to Tesla as well as Ford Motor Co. (F), Nissan Motor Co. and Fisker Automotive Inc., were approved in 2009.

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chuckdancerMar. 13, 13 2:16 AM

I don't want to take sides but I guess we all remember that these auto dealers would not have much domestic product to sell if the government didn't prop up the manufacturers with big investments. If I recall correctly Mr Lambert was shooting off his mouth then with no gratitude at all and he apparently likes to use government to protect his boys now.

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alanam8Mar. 13, 13 3:16 AM

"if manufacturers run the market, it will be far less competitive for customers.” And if Minnesota car dealers run the market, and keep out new brands, it'll be more competitive? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the dealers are doing just fine, thank you very much. If they - and the massive multinationals behind them - can't handle tiny Tesla, they might as well close up shop now. In the meantime, welcome to the 21st century, and enjoy the competition.

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garcialaterMar. 13, 13 5:51 AM

Jeremy Clarkson? They guy who, on his show, pretended like the Tesla ran out of charge on the track and showed footage of his friends pushing the car back in even though the batteries were still over 20 pct full? The same Jeremy Clarkson that said "I cannot believe this – that's biblically quick. This car is electric, literally. The top speed may only be 125mph but there's so much torque it does 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. Not bad from a motor the size of a watermelon and which has only one moving part."? What's your motivation to spread lies and negativity?

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fwallenMar. 13, 13 6:36 AM

The cars are still a work in progress and the govments cash infusion was stupid. But dealers complaining that Teslas business model is unfair rings hollow. It's become a theme in America, if you think you are losing: Sue somebody.

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fwallenMar. 13, 13 6:44 AM

When you think about the issues it is hard to not come to the conclusion that the dealership model in the US is a very poor business model. Buyers have no love of the model, and if it's time to rethink the model instead of suing a company that has a better model.

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