Tesla brings Model 3 on tour to push direct sale legislation in New York

We recently reported on Tesla launching several lobbying efforts in multiple US states to defeat current dealership monopolies and allow direct sales of its vehicles to consumers.

New York is one of the top priorities and Tesla is bringing out the big guns to make it happen, the Model 3.

Tesla started inviting local owners and Model 3 reservation holders in upstate New York to “meet Model 3” events starting next week.

The company describes the event in an email:

“During the event, you will have the exclusive opportunity to view Model 3 on display, explore Model S and Model X, and learn about our legislative efforts to expand Tesla’s presence in New York. Product experts will be available to answer any questions and share the latest Tesla products and updates.”

Four events are planned in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo, which are all regions expected to get Tesla locations if the automaker is successful in passing its new legislation.

As we previously reported, Tesla can actually sell cars in the Empire State, but it comes through a compromise that the company made with the state which limits the number of “dealerships” Tesla can operate to only 5.

The automaker has since outgrown this deal and it is supporting legislation to increase the number to 20 stores. It would enable Tesla to add to its 5 locations in the New York City region and to expand upstate.

The bill (A08248) was introduced last week by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, a Democrat from Monroe County, and it has 21 sponsors.

The timing would be good for Tesla with the arrival of the Model 3 in higher volume later this year to have more retail locations and service centers in the state.

But it has some opposition. We reported back in December that local dealers were already preparing for a fight and starting a misinformation campaign before the bill was even introduced.

It now looks like Tesla is using the Model 3 to raise awareness for their initiative and gather some support for the effort.

Electrek’s Take

It’s not a bad idea since it will actually be a rare opportunity to see the Model 3 in person in those parts. Tesla has been expanding its Model 3 display fleet over the last month and the vehicle is now in about 2 dozen stores, including one in Manhattan. However, it can still be difficult for many people outside of big city centers to see the vehicle in person.

Of course, it’s also an opportunity for them to promote their vehicles without having retail locations in those regions, which also serves as an example of why they should be allowed to expand their retail presence.

New York City residents have less incentive to support the expansion of Tesla’s retail presence in the state since they used up their 5-store limit in and around the city, but if upstate New York residents want local stores and service centers, they need to tell their local representatives to support the new bill.

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