Tesla rolls through Michigan towing an Airstream

on Jun23

Outfitted as a design studio, Tesla’s mobile display began its journey around Michigan this month. Here it is pictured in Detroit. Photo credit: Katie Buda

Tesla Inc. is touring Michigan with an Airstream trailer towed by the new Model X crossover — a way to showcase its vehicles where they are unable to be sold.

The automaker, barred under state law from selling cars in Michigan, is making its way north after the trailer was stationed in Detroit earlier this month.

The road trip aims to expose more consumers to the electric crossover, which offers a 5,000-pound towing capability and upswinging “falcon wing” doors. The Model X starts at $83,700, including shipping.

Also outfitted as a design studio, the mobile display began its journey around Michigan this month. Six other Model X crossovers have been towing Airstreams in cities across North America since January — landing along the East and West coasts as well as in Chicago and Atlanta.

In Detroit, Tesla representatives declined to comment on details of the tour.

The Silicon Valley electric car maker sells through a direct-to-customer model, rather than using franchised dealerships. In September, Tesla sued Michigan after being denied a license to sell directly to consumers. The suit is pending.

Under a Michigan law that restricts vehicle sales to franchised dealers, Tesla can’t give browsers the exact price of the vehicle, pass out business cards or pitch specific car specs.

The trailer will be stationed in Acme, Mich., at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa on June 29-July 9, then move to Crystal Mountain resort in Thompsonville, July 11-17. After its stint in northern Michigan, the Model X and Airstream will roll south to Ann Arbor, July 20-23, and Grand Rapids, July 27-31.

Remaining stops on the summer road trip include New York City; Bridgehampton, N.Y.; Greenwich, Conn.; and Park City, Utah.

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