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Tesla Rises as Direct-Sale Petition Passed 100,000 Names (Update 1)

Updated from 10:59 a.m. to include CEO Musk comments on petition.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) continued to rally Tuesday, gaining 0.51% to $117.78 as a petition for the electric automaker to sell directly to customers surpassed 100,000 supporters.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company had surpassed 100,000 names on the petition. The number is required to get the White House to look at the petition.

Tesla has recently come under attack from car dealer associations across the country, including in New York, North Carolina and other states, as it does not have a dealer network.

Instead, it sells directly to its customers, and has stores across the country. Tesla's retail strategy was created in part by George Blankenship, who helped develop Apple's retail stores while he was still at the technology giant.

Tesla doesn't have traditional car salesmen either, instead it uses product specialists to talk to customers about its products.

Here is the email Tesla sent out earlier Tuesday talking about the petition, which needed to reach 100,00 signatures by Friday, July 5.

As you may know, Tesla is under attack from a number of car dealer associations in various states who are challenging Tesla's right to directly serve our customers at Tesla Stores and Service Centers.

Their efforts are protectionist in nature and infringe on the right of the consumer to choose how they purchase and service their vehicle.

An anonymous Tesla enthusiast created a White House petition to allow direct sales of cars to consumers in all states. We want to thank the tens of thousands of fans who have voiced their support and have already signed the petition.

We want this petition to succeed. For that to happen, the petition needs 15,000 more signatures by Friday, July 5, 2013.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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