direct sales Stories February 1, 2017

Passion is an important factor in Tesla’s success. The company goes out of its way to hire passionate people in general, but also people passionate about the company’s mission to accelerate the advent of renewable transport and energy. That wasn’t ever more obvious than today after a Tesla store manager broke down into tears during her testimony before the Indiana’s Road and Transportation Committee.

As we reported yesterday, Indiana’s legislature is introducing a new bill acutely aimed to kill Tesla’s direct sales business model in the state. If it passes, it would result in Tesla having to stop its retail and service operations in the state. expand full story

direct sales Stories May 25, 2016

Earlier this month, we reported on the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the DMV holding hearings to decide whether or not to allow Tesla to get a second dealership license in order to operate another store in the state without having to go through a third-party franchise dealerships.

Now we learn that the DMC ruled against Tesla obtaining a second dealership license last week, which results in the automaker’s latest store in Charlotte having to operate as a ‘gallery’. expand full story

direct sales Stories May 23, 2016

During a convention held in Dallas last week, Texas state GOP delegates endorsed new Tesla-backed language in the party platform to allow direct sales of vehicles in the state. About 90 percent of the more than 8,000 delegates supported the new proposal.

This new support is likely to be a big help for Tesla’s next effort to push new legislation in order to sell its cars through company-owned stores in Texas – something the company has been trying to do since 2013.

Tesla had a booth at the convention and discussed its situation in the state with thousands of delegates.

Under the current state’s laws governing car sales, as an automaker, Tesla cannot sell its vehicles to consumers and is required to go through third-party dealerships – something the company refused to do as per its business model. expand full story

direct sales Stories May 4, 2016

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is currently holding a hearing to decide whether or not to allow Tesla to get a second dealership license to operate in the state without having to go through a third-party franchise dealerships.

Tesla currently operates a store and service center in Charlotte and a service center in Raleigh. The automaker is now trying to get a second sales license since having won a legislative battle that successfully stopped a bill from outright banning direct car sales in the state back in 2013. expand full story

direct sales Stories May 2, 2016

While the bill SB3, a new legislation to allow electric automakers to sell directly to consumers in Connecticut, appeared to have died during the weekend after bill sponsor Bob Duff said that his caucus was divided on the issue and that he didn’t have the votes:

“I think the car dealers and others have been very effective in lobbying in their favor. We’ll come back again and try in another year.”

Now in a last-ditch effort as the legislative deadline approaches on Wednesday night, Tesla offered the state a new distribution center with 150 jobs to sweeten the deal. expand full story

direct sales Stories March 28, 2016

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Tesla’s legal team has been preparing for a challenge of direct sales law before the federal court instead of the state by state battles that the company has been fighting for years now.

Due to its business model of selling directly to consumers without a third-party dealership, Tesla is currently not allowed or under restrictions to sell its cars in several states including Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Connecticut, Utah and West Virginia. expand full story

direct sales Stories March 4, 2016

Tesla was opposing a bill in Utah this week that would have allowed the automaker to operate its store in Salt Lake City, but under some restrictions that the company wasn’t willing to accept. Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, officially abandoned her efforts to pass the legislation yesterday and the bill was sent to interim study, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

It’s a small win for Tesla in Utah where the automaker still faces challenges as it is now bringing the situation before the state Supreme Court. expand full story

direct sales Stories March 2, 2016

After a small win in Indiana, where a state Senate committee decided to table for further review a bill that would have prohibited Tesla to sell its cars directly to consumers and forced them to go through third-party auto dealerships, the automaker is readying to challenge the states of Utah and Connecticut over similar direct sale laws.

Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff introduced a bill that would allow electric car manufacturers to sell their vehicles directly to Connecticut consumers. The bill would represent a compromise similar to agreements Tesla has in other states like New Jersey or New York, where the automaker is limited to a certain number of stores, in the case of Connecticut, it would be three stores across the state. expand full story

direct sales Stories February 24, 2016

While Tesla’s battle with GM over direct sales law in Indiana is grabbing all the attention this week, there’s been a development over the same issue in Utah.

Tesla built a $3 million store in Salt Lake City last year, but the full-fledged store was demoted to a gallery/service center two weeks before opening due to the Utah attorney general’s office ruling that it was against the state’s direct sales law.

Legislators and Tesla have since been trying to find a compromise ever since, but the latest proposal was rejected by Tesla, which now says it will focus on a lawsuit it filed before the Utah Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press. expand full story

direct sales Stories February 23, 2016

Tensions between US automakers GM and Tesla are now at an all time high. GM took a few swipes at Tesla at the unveiling of the 200 mile range Chevy Bolt earlier this year. The automaker published a promotional picture of the new all-electric car in front of Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto and CEO Mary Barra made the following comment during the CES launch:

“Unlike some EV customers, Bolt EV customers never have to worry about driving to another state to buy, service or support their vehicles.”

She is clearly making reference to the fact that Tesla is somehow still blocked from selling vehicles in certain states due to laws banning direct sales from manufacturers which force them to go through third-party dealerships. These laws are often from the 1950s when the US automakers would exert monopolistic control over the dealer relationships.  Tesla General Counsel Todd Maron went before the FTC to argue against these direct sales bans and directly called out Barra for her comment (see picture above), which becomes more relevant than ever now that we learn that GM has authored a new bill to ban direct sales in Indiana. expand full story

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