Virginia Denies Tesla Motors Request to Open Store in State

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 6

Typical Tesla Motors Store

Typical Tesla Motors Store

Though Tesla Motors may be sort of winning its battle in Texas, it’s a different story in Virginia where officials there have rejected the automaker’s request to operate its own stores within the state.

Sample Tesla Store

Sample Tesla Store

Just days ago, officials in Virgina held to the state law, which requires manufacturers to sell vehicles through a traditional dealership setup, unless the automaker can prove that no suitable dealer exists within the state.

Tesla Motors had sought an exception, saying something that’s becoming rather common now.  Tesla claims its Model S is unique and that a traditional dealership isn’t’ really capable of selling and servicing such a vehicle.

Tesla’s proposed showroom in Virgina would be similar to its various sites in other states where it’s more a design studio that allows for customers to learn about the Model S and to place an order for the vehicle.  No inventory would be at the site and a service department would be at a separate location, perhaps even in a nearby state.

Of course, the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association were the first to object to Tesla’s request, but that means next to nothing.

Musk Tweets

Musk Tweets

It’s the ruling from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb that stands in the way of Tesla Motors operating in Virginia right now.  Holcomb says he was unable to say definitively that no existing dealership in Virginia could meet the needs of Tesla.

The automaker’s next step is to appeal Holcomb’s ruling, but to do that Tesla Motors will have to submit evidence that shows no dealer in Virgina could operate the franchise in such a way that would benefit public interest.

Holcomb’s ruling goes against the advice of a DMV hearing officer, who on two previous occasions suggested that the state grant Tesla exemption request.

Tesla is waging or has waged similar campaigns with varying levels of success in other states, including Texas, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts.

Written Testimony From DMV hearing Officer

Written Testimony From DMV hearing Officer

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6 responses to "Virginia Denies Tesla Motors Request to Open Store in State"

  1. Nelson says:

    Seem like the residents in Virginia need to find out who appointed the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb and get rid of him in the next election.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  2. Guyman says:

    Speaking as one who lives in Va….. Let us remember this is the state that just lowered gas taxes, and added $100/year surcharge on Ev’s, phevs, and even Prius hybrids, as they get “too high mileage, and aren’t paying their fair share” to support highway costs. Toss in more recent noise about mandatory ultrasounds, and the “the old dominion state” is starting to look rather represive. At least we have a 1 term limit for the governor, but the likely upcoming candidates, both red and blue, are nothing to really look forward to..

    Sigh. Perhaps it’s time to move to NC.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      I moved to NC from VA in 2005 and haven’t looked back.

    2. vdiv says:

      Hear, hear! These things have become absurd.

      Maybe it is time to divide Virginia once again and spin off Northern VA as a separate state. Me thinks Luray, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Tappahannock, and below can rejoin the Confederation. :p

  3. MTN Ranger says:

    Why bother with a Northern VA store when the DC store is so close. Open one in my neck of the woods first. I know the reason is that it’s that the highest income county in the country.

  4. kdawg says:

    Virginia Is For (oil) Lovers