Investor's Corner

Michigan buys Tesla (TSLA) stock for state’s retirement fund

Photo: Tesla Michigan plant

Michigan won’t let you purchase a Tesla directly from a company store, but the state has no problem investing in the electric automaker. A report coming out of the Detroit News reveals that Michigan’s Department of Treasury held a position in Tesla ($TSLA) stock worth $72 million. SEC filings show that the Treasury held 339,623 shares of $TSLA in the state’s retirement fund, more than doubling its investment in Tesla during the second quarter.

The investment by Michigan is notable because of the ongoing feud the state has had with Tesla. Michigan, home to the Big Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – has seen strong opposition from state legislators to Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model. This has resulted in a ban of Tesla to sell its Model S and Model X through showroom stores. To date there are no Tesla galleries in the state though a service center appears on the company’s map as “Coming Soon”. The ongoing battle between Michigan and Tesla has the electric automaker and now energy company threatening to sue the state for its right to sell its vehicles directly to interested buyers.

Though Michigan doubled down with an additional $48 million investment into Tesla stock during Q2, the Treasury department’s Bureau of Investments manages over $60 billion investments for the state’s retirement system. A spokesperson tells the Detroit News, “Our original $25 million position in Tesla was relatively minor, and we added approximately $50 million during the past quarter,” the department said in a statement. “The additional shares did not materially add to the risk of the overall $60 billion investment portfolio.”

What’s interesting to note is that the Treasury’s stake in Tesla has a worth that’s more than double its investment in Ford and General Motors combined. The Treasury owns 1,355,538 shares of Ford Motor Co. worth $17 million and 486,800 shares of stock in General Motors Co. worth approximately $13.7 million.

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