As we reported earlier this month, Tesla’s battle to get the right to sell its electric vehicles directly to customers in Connecticut without having to go through third-party franchise dealerships took a turn for the worst after strong dealership opposition led to the DMV issuing a cease and desist for Tesla’s only gallery in the state
Now CEO Elon Musk pens a letter in a local paper as a bill to allow direct sales is about to go to a vote – likely this week.
In the letter published in the Hartford Courant last week, Musk reiterates why Tesla wants to sell directly to customers:
“We use a direct sales model because it provides the best possible experience for our customers. Anyone who visits our stores can ask questions of Tesla’s sales team and learn about electric vehicles without the stress of the typical car-buying experience at traditional dealerships. There is no haggling over price (it is the same everywhere) and customers face no pressure to make a purchase.”
Musk continued by stating that recent polling shows overwhelming support for Tesla’s business model in Connecticut.
Yet, this is the third time that Tesla is pushing for a bill to allow them to sell in the state, one of only 4 in the US that still outlaws Tesla’s business model.
Th CEO explains what the bill being presented this year would do:
“HB 7097 would allow consumers to choose what cars they buy and from whom they buy them — just like every other product. Whether you prefer to purchase a gasoline-powered vehicle from an independent franchise dealer or an electric vehicle directly from a manufacturer like Tesla, we think you should have that right. In addition, the law would continue to protect franchised dealers from unfair competition by the manufacturers that voluntarily chose to have franchises, and it would allow us to open stores creating jobs and investment in local communities.”
Musk concluded the letter with a call for locals to voice their support with legislator as the bill is nearing a vote:
“Your elected officials have a choice. They can vote to cede jobs to surrounding states, or choose a path that helps the state close its budget gap and build upon its history as a place for innovation and business growth. Please encourage your legislators to allow Tesla to create jobs and invest in a cleaner, sustainable energy future for Connecticut.”
Tesla has been using the angle of the lost revenue in Connecticut – emphasizing how over 1,000 Tesla owners have already registered vehicles that they bought in neighboring states. During the hearings for the bill in February, a company executive warned that ‘thousands’ of Model 3 reservations holders will go outside of Connecticut to buy if direct sales weren’t legal by the end of the year.