It’s time for an status update on Tesla Motors’ battle to win the ability to openly sell cars across the U.S. While there has been a major setback (New Jersey) there are some interesting bright spots, coincidentally in states where Tesla is thinking to open the Gigafactory.
Namely – as we reported earlier, Texas and Arizona are both working hard to get the Gigafactory – as is Nevada and New Mexico. In both Texas and Arizona, state laws currently prevent Tesla from selling cars in that state (but do not prevent residents from buying Tesla’s). In Arizona the state Legislature is already considering a bill that would allow Tesla to sell cars directly. In Texas the legislature doesn’t meet until 2015, so Gov. Perry would have to call a special session but the Texas Automobile Dealers Association is fighting strongly against allowing Tesla to sell cars in Texas.
Tesla Motors has a running battle with the US Automobile Dealers Associations. The ADA’s control the car buying process in the US, and it is ADA sponsored laws that prevent car companies from selling cars directly to customers. Tesla’s model is explicitly to sell directly to customers, and that they’ve been able to do so in most of the U.S. demonstrates that U.S. law is inconsistent from state to state. Where Tesla can sell cars in some states, laws in other U.S. states prevent Tesla from doing so, forcing Tesla’s customers in those states into an inconvenient sales process.
The most recent hoopla over this was in New Jersey where state regulations now ban Tesla from making direct car sales in either of the company’s stores in New Jersey. New Jersey joins Texas and a couple other states in banning Tesla from selling cars. They can operate “Galleries” in each state, but Tesla’s employees in those stores are banned from doing anything remotely looking like sales.
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