According to a recent article by The Drive, even once Tesla officially opens its new car factory in Texas, coined Giga Austin, it won't actually be allowed to sell Texas-built Teslas to Texas residents. Instead, it will have to ship the cars out of Texas only to then reverse course and sell them to Texas residents from elsewhere.
You're probably asking, why in the heck did Tesla CEO Elon Musk agree to build a factory in Texas, promote the heck out of the area, move there himself, and create thousands of jobs if Texas had planned to stick it to Tesla all along?
While we don't have any concrete details, it seems Musk was banking on Texas revisiting the laws and rules associated with franchised dealerships in the state. And, while that may have been the hope or plan, the Texas legislature has reportedly run out of time to make any changes. Sadly, according to The Drive, the group won't meet again until 2023.
Hopefully, there's some sort of wiggle room here, or perhaps Musk and Tesla can pull some strings to get the lawmakers to schedule a special session, but don't count on it. Musk responded to a Tweet of The Drive article as follows:
The ridiculous part of this whole situation is Tesla will likely still sell plenty of cars to Texas residents. The law won't stop the sale of vehicles. However, it will greatly inconvenience residents of the state, and it will be a costly hassle for Tesla. If Texas residents want Teslas, and the brand is going to sell its cars to them one way or another, we put your state's residents, as well as a company that is helping the state, through the wringer?
Because legacy automakers don't want Tesla to be successful. Franchised dealerships want to do everything they can to make it difficult for Tesla to operate. In addition, there's likely hope that pushing Tesla in such ways will eventually cause it to either fail or comply.
This means the legacy industry would like to see Tesla unionize and follow the archaic franchise dealership model. However, Tesla has already proven it doesn't need to comply to be successful. Even with all of the challenges, its EVs sell much better than any of the competition.
Bill HB 4379 was introduced after Tesla committed to entering Texas. If the bill would have passed, the automaker would be able to sell its cars direct to consumers in the state. However, the bill stalled. Another bill will have to be presented when the Texas legislature meets again in two years.