Let's revisit this post in about 12 months when Musk announces the first of many new Tesla sanctioned independent sales/service centers...aka dealerships. Do you really think that when the M3 is launched and selling 10,000 every month that each will be picked up in a ceremony at the factory? Or trucked to buyer's homes? Of course that model is unsustainable at projected sales levels.1) Tesla will almost surely survive as an independent company if not they will be acquired by Google or Apple. 95% chance they remain independent. Every time Tesla goes to the capital markets they get better terms than they were anticipating.
2) BMW may have failed with company stores pre-internet. The time and price to acquire data, move data,sort data,and manipulate data has fallen through the floor. Tesla's problem is not company stores but growing at a compounded 50% rate. Specifically manufacturing at a compounded annual growth rate of 50%. When Musk has mentioned in the past he will not discount dealers in the future it is in the context of not sounding inflexible in dealing with State legislatures and dealership groups in the political process.
3) Bob Lutz is a man of the 20th century. At BMW he was part of the team that created the 3 Series, at Ford he initiated the Ford Explorer project, at Chrysler he not only fathered the Viper but the LH cars including the 300, and at GM not only Volt but Equinox and corporate twins the most financially successful new product at GM in years. But when Lutz speaks of fuel cell technology or battery technology or really any fast moving auto related technology he speaks at least 5 years out of date. He thinks Tesla energy has zero possibility to succeed because lead acid batteries are so much cheaper. LOL.