Tesla Store in San Francisco, California
The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that three plaintiffs had no standing to follow through with a lawsuit banning Tesla from selling its cars directly in the state.
The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association (MADA), along with a local automobile dealer, and a mobile home manufacturer recently went to bat against the Silicon Valley automaker. A lower court had moved to revoke Tesla's license to sell, but the appeals court overturned that ruling.
When then lower court ruled not to renew the automaker's license, Tesla had to temporarily close up shop at its Kansas City and University City stores. However, the higher court allowed the company to immediately reopen during the appeal proceedings.
Tesla retail boutique
MADA, Reuther Ford, and Osage Industries asserted that their right as economic competitors and taxpayers allowed them to sue Tesla in an attempt to get the automaker's sales license revoked. The appeals court disagreed. The court believes that its ruling was:
“... consistent with every appellate court ruling in the country that has addressed standing in similar Tesla license challenges in other states.”
The court basically said that it only appeals cases where a business license is denied or revoked. Simply being an economic competitor doesn't give a company standing to bring forth a lawsuit.
MADA's president, Doug Smith, is unhappy with the court's ruling. He said:
“We feel very strong about the merits of our argument, and we’re a little disappointed in the final decision. It does have an impact on our industry.”
Welcome to the world of competition, right? Of course it has an impact, however, that doesn't make Tesla's way the wrong way. It's just a different way. OEM dealerships shouldn't be concerned about little tiny Tesla anyhow, but we digress ...
Dealers concerns are growing due to massive pre-orders for the Model 3.
Smith believes that there's a certain way vehicles are supposed to be sold in Missouri, and the electric carmaker is doing it wrong. He continued:
“... you’re supposed to sell vehicles through the system that was created in the early ’80s. And until that system is modified or changed, that’s gonna be our stance.
... the Chinese manufacturer, or the Indian manufacturer, when it gets to the point where it can pass emissions and safety (tests) in the U.S., this is a model that they’ll look very strongly at, and that will have an impact on small businesses across Missouri.”
"We have been serving customers in Missouri for almost five years and have contributed to the state economy and jobs for Missourians – something that will now continue.
... a victory for Missouri consumers who want the choice to learn about and purchase their Tesla in their home state."