Good news for the people of Indiana? Tesla has signed a lease for the first full blown service center to open in Indianapolis that would complement their lone store at Fashion Mall. While having some leased space in Zionsville for service is certainly good news to local owners, there’s also a bad news.
Tesla could face yet another potential roadblock from a bill proposed by the state government that would effectively disallow them from selling any further.
According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, just this week Tesla signed a lease for a 26,000 sq ft building off of 8280 Castleton Corner Drive that would operate as their first official service center in Indiana. Will Nicholas, Tesla’s government relations manager, remarked that in strategically choosing this location, the company hopes it will boost overall sales in the state. Further, he explains:
“Seeing is believing. It sometimes takes the physical presence to compel someone to move away from that current brand of car they’re driving.”
While Tesla has some leased shop space in Zionsville for local owners, the nearest full capacity service center is in Cincinnati. We can only assume that not having a large presence in the state has been a turnoff to customers since it is widely different than the usual experience most are used to with other auto manufacturers and dealerships. So, once operational, the Indianapolis service center should make it easier for people to justify owning a Model S or X.
Unfortunately, the increase in sales that Tesla could realize with the service center has the potential to come to a halt in the near future. State Representative, Kevin Mahan, proposed a bill last session that would “provide that a dealer license issued to a manufacturer expires after 30 months and may not be renewed.”
In essence, Tesla would have to sell through franchised dealers once their license expired, which would go against their usual business model. While not set in stone, it could prove to be an inhibitor to their growth in the state.
Most of us by now are familiar with the constant, and frustrating battles that Tesla has to deal with from state governments around the country to sell their vehicles. In recent news, we have reported on the Michigan government denying Tesla a dealer license, and the possibility for the Silicon Valley company to lose its right to sell in Missouri. So we’ll see what happens in Indiana in the coming months. The House Committee on Roads and Transportation is reportedly supposed to discuss the bill next Tuesday.