Legislation Could Let Tesla Open 12 Stores In Texas

Tesla Store

FEB 27 2015 BY MARK KANE 15

Insert Franchised Dealer Here?

Insert Franchised Dealer Here?

Texas is one of the states that prevents Tesla Motors from directly selling its electric cars.

Tesla established just three galleries in the state of Texas, with one each in Austin, Dallas and Houston to present the Model S, but without permission to even discuss the price.

The legislative tug-of-war continues between Tesla and dealers in Texas, but the latest initiative looks to be in Tesla’s favor as it will enable the automaker to open 12 stores in the state:

“A group of state lawmakers on Thursday filed legislation that would allow Tesla Motors to sell its luxury electric cars at as many as 12 stores in Texas, renewing the California-based company’s challenge to a state law protecting auto dealers.”

“New legislation — House Bill 1653 and its companion, Senate Bill 639 — would allow manufacturers that have never sold their cars through independent dealerships in Texas to operate the limited number of stores.”

“Free market principles are the foundation of our strong Texas economy,” said state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, who filed the Senate bill. “SB 639 helps sustain a competitive marketplace and gives consumers more choices.”

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin filed the House bill, along with with Reps. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco; Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker; Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound;and Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton.”

The passage of such a bill could be considered as a win for Tesla in the near and mid-term, until sales volume necessitates the need for more stores. But will it pass?

According to the article, Tesla is investing in lobbyists in Texas:

“Tesla has added firepower this session. It’s spending between $625,000 and $1.18 million on 21 lobbyists — including some particularly high-profile names, according to Texas Ethics Commission filings.”

Here is auto dealership assocaition’s statement:

“Dealerships argue that the direct-sales ban protects Texans by ensuring that they have spots to buy cars across the state, not just in highly populated cities where manufacturers, if given the chance to sell directly, might otherwise focus.”

“Tesla asks for an exception to state law that eliminates their completion, allows them to sell their vehicles at one non-negotiable list price and export their profit out of state, leaving no benefit for Texas,” said Bill Wolters, president of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association. “The Texas franchised dealer system protects consumers and prevents monopolies through competition on motor vehicle sales and service.”

For now, there are some 1,800 Teslas registered in Texas out of almost 40,000 in the US.

Source: WFAA

Categories: Tesla

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15 Comments on "Legislation Could Let Tesla Open 12 Stores In Texas"

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“Dealerships argue that the direct-sales ban protects Texans by ensuring that they have spots to buy cars across the state, not just in highly populated cities where manufacturers, if given the chance to sell directly, might otherwise focus.”
—–

How does this protect Texans? By this logic, wouldn’t not allowing the car to be sold at all really be doing a disservice to Texans?

“Tesla asks for an exception to state law that …allows them to sell their vehicles at one non-negotiable list price”
——-
YES! That’s what consumers want. I HATE haggling.

+1

Are the going to tell CarMax they need to close up shop also, because they are “bad for consumers.”

Expecting regular consumers to negotiate a car purchase against car dealership experts that doing it for a living …like dropping minnows in a shark tank, what could go wrong.

+1
How many times has a dealer asked you to pay >MRSP for a vehicle. How is that good for the consumer?

What Bill Wolters is saying is completely nuts! How can you benefit customers by adding an extra margin on each car that is sold? That is just non sense.

How ironic that the auto dealer cartel calls a company that won’t participate with it a “monopoly”.

And if they’re against special exceptions, let’s end the special exception for auto sales called the franchise law and let cars be sold as any other consumer product.

If this bill passes, I assume the Model S would qualify for the $2500 state rebate on EVs.

It is sad that it took $1 million in lobbying money for legislatures to see Tesla’s fair market argument as reasonable.

Yes.

Sadly legalized bribery is about the only way to get things done in American politics.

This is all about building the Tesla truck in Texas me thinks.

I doubt it. That’s a long way off, after 2020.

This is the second attempt in Texas at a similar bill. I hope this one has a better chance for success, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

It’s hot down there. Don’t they know how much range they’re leaving on the table? 300 miles would barely be sport fishing.

Sometimes those 10 gallon hats fall down over their eyes and they can’t see the future coming. Why the limit of 12 stores? That’s still selected business protectionism and against the idea of a true free market.