Tesla roundup: Shares down; sales in Arizona, N.J.; special delivery from Elon Musk

Some parties along for the Tesla roundup ride today are investors, car dealers and yes, the state of New Jersey.

• As the tech sell-off continues, Tesla shares are down more than 2.5 percent as of this post, recovering from a steeper decline in earlier trading. Dana Hull wrote for this year’s Mercury News SV 150 special report that in 2013, Tesla’s shares had zoomed up right along with the company’s revenue and success. But the Palo Alto company’s stock is reportedly the most shorted amid the current sell-off. Besides the overall tech malaise, there has been some skepticism surrounding CEO Elon Musk’s grand plans for a battery “Gigafactory” — including from potential partner Panasonic.

• In news about the electric-car maker’s issues with selling its cars directly to customers — auto dealerships are up in arms over it — a bill that would have allowed the company to open stores in Arizona has died in the state senate.

(The author of the measure, Republican Sen. John McComish, told the Wall Street Journal that “it doesn’t help our chances” of winning a bid to be the site of the aforementioned giga factory, which theoretically would employ thousands of workers. Other states said to be in the running for the factory are Texas, Nevada and New Mexico.)

By the way, remember the brouhaha in New Jersey over the direct-sales issue? Today’s the day Tesla must close its stores in that state.

• Finally, Tesla is expected to begin deliveries in what is obviously a key market — China — this month. And speaking of keys, the company says Musk will be personally handing over the “keys” (OK, key fobs) to some new Model S owners there.


Photo:  Tesla CEO Elon Musk, shown above in 2011, is expected to personally deliver some Model S cars to China buyers. ((Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4265 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay@bayareanewsgroup.com