While it's still prevented from opening up full stores in the state, Tesla has found a way to better service some of its Michigan customers – by opening up a shop just across the border in Ohio.
The California-based automaker opened a service center in Toledo, Ohio, Automotive News reported Wednesday. Toledo is about 60 miles southeast of Detroit and not far from the Michigan border. While there is a Tesla gallery in the Metro Detroit area, the company has been barred from opening a sales and service center in the state since 2014, when then-Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation that pretty much prevented the automaker's direct sales model in Michigan.
According to The Detroit News, those in Michigan interested in Teslas have been venturing to the Cleveland area to drive the vehicles as well as have them serviced. But the rapidly increasing number of the automakers' vehicles in the area prompted a new location in Toledo, a situation that has been replicated across the country as Tesla finds itself with many more vehicles on the road that need regular maintenance. The company still offers its mobile service to those who find the nearest service center too far of a drive.
Tesla hasn't given up on opening a Michigan center, however. It sued the state in 2016 over the direct sales ban and the case is set for a trial in June. And while it seems unlikely Tesla will let prospects of a Motor City presence go down without a fight, the market has spoken and customers of the electric vehicles have been going to another state for sales and service for years.