tesla model 3 red front
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Sebastian Blanco / Autoblog
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3 interior and touchscreen
  • Tesla Model 3 interior and touchscreen
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3 interior and touchscreen
  • Tesla Model 3 interior and touchscreen
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3 rear lights
  • Tesla Model 3 rear lights
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Tesla Model 3 license plate
  • Tesla Model 3 license plate
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
tesla model 3 black profile
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
tesla model 3 red and silver above
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla Model 3 red above
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla Model 3 silver front
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
Michigan won't let Tesla sell its cars in the state. It will, however, invest directly in the rapidly-growing electric-vehicle company. In fact, Michigan owns a bigger stake in California-based Tesla than it does in either hometown heroes Ford or General Motors. Somewhere, Tesla chief Elon Musk is laughing, crying, or, hopefully soon, Tweeting.

The Michigan Department of Treasury acquired about $48 million in Tesla's stock for the state employees' retirement systems during the three months that ended in June 2016, tripling its stake in the company to about $72 million, the Detroit News reports, citing US Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The state's portfolio is worth about $60 billion, so it's not putting all of its eggs in that proverbial basket. It is, however, putting more eggs there than in Ford and GM, where the state holds about $31 million in stock. Combined.

Treasury representatives say its investments are made independent of state-regulator decisions, and they sure do appear to be made independent of the state's rather strong dealership lobby as well. Michigan, of course, is one of the holdout states that won't allow Tesla to sell cars directly to customers, which the automaker insists it needs to do, bypassing third-party dealerships. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill in October 2014 prohibiting Tesla's direct vehicle sales.

Even with all of this hassle, there are about 400 Michigan residents driving Teslas – they have to go to Chicago, Cleveland, or Windsor, Ontario to get those cars serviced – and some of those folks have taken to giving out test drives to prospective Tesla buyers in order to boost interest and help the cause of overturning the sales ban. Additionally, Tesla applied for a dealership license in Michigan late last year, though there's no word on what the state will decide on that.

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