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Tesla CEO tweets strategic announcement coming Friday

DETROIT (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk said the electric carmaker on Friday will make a strategic announcement that according to a spokeswoman revolves around service.

Shares of Tesla rose nearly 3 percent late Thursday afternoon.

"Announcement of new @TeslaMotors strategy tomorrow. Tesla owners will like this," Musk said in a message on Twitter that was sent shortly before 12 p.m. EDT.

On April 2, Musk said Tesla would unveil details about revamped service and an expanded network of fast-charging stations this month in a move to boost sales.

"I'm an engineer, so service is not something that I naturally do," Musk said in an interview on April 2. "But it's the right thing for the company and I think we have the opportunity to re-engineer service."

A spokeswoman for the company said Friday's announcement will focus on service. On April 2, Tesla announced it would partner with Wells Fargo & Co and U.S. Bank on a financing product to make its pricey electric sedans accessible to more people.

Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, who has an "overweight" rating on Tesla's shares, speculated the company may offer free maintenance for the first several years of ownership to make its cars comparable with the German luxury brands.

"Given right now there's a $600 a year service requirement," he said, adding that it is cheaper if prepaid. "And given that BMW and Mercedes offer two to three to four years worth of free end-to-end maintenance, most likely what (Tesla officials) are doing is waiving the service requirement, making service free for the first two or three years."

Tesla, producer of the first fully electric sports car, has said it had its first profitable quarter ever in the first quarter thanks to stronger-than-expected sales of its Model S sedan. Tesla is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 8.

The carmaker went public in 2010 and has narrowed its losses as production of the Model S ramped up late last year.

Tesla's stock rose $1.43 to $51.86 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Leslie Adler, Carol Bishopric and Richard Chang)

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