Tesla could finally be able to sell its cars in Wisconsin because Republicans convinced a Senator, who happens to be a Tesla fan who repairs salvaged Tesla vehicles, to help them pass their budget by adding a provision to allow Tesla’s direct sale model.
Despite Tesla’s rise in popularity following the release of the less expensive Model 3 last year, the automaker is still not allowed to sell its vehicles in certain states due to its direct sale business model, which is upsetting franchise car dealers.
Those car dealers are using outdated laws originally intended to protect them against unfair competition from their own automakers to prevent Tesla from owning its own stores.
Wisconsin is one of the states with the restriction and local Senator Chris Kapenga has been trying to change the law for the last few years.
We reported on his effort back in 2017.
Now Wisconsin Republicans have convinced Kapenga to vote for their budget by including his provision to allow Tesla’s direct sale model in the budget.
Kapenga happens to be a fan of Tesla and in his spare time, he buys salvaged Tesla vehicles to repair them and sell parts.
Some accused him of only sponsoring the bill for his own interest (via MSN):
“Choking up at times, he told reporters that political opponents were trying to impugn his character by spreading stories that he pushed for the Tesla exemption to help his business. He insisted that he simply loves Tesla vehicles and loves rebuilding them in his downtime.”
The Senator said that he never made any money from his hobby:
“I’ve made no money from it. It’s a hobby of mine and just because I enjoy the product and that I’m kind of a gear head, I don’t gain materially or economically at all — that would be unethical … I’m very careful of that.”
Tesla currently has several Supercharger stations n Wisconsin, but it is not operating any service center or gallery:
The closest stores and service centers are in Minneapolis and Chicago.
Earlier this year when new legislative sessions started in many states, Tesla renewed its effort to make its direct-sales business model legal in many states where they are still banned.
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