Tesla’s First Utah Store Is Ready To Open Its Doors, But State Says No
Tesla scheduled the grand opening of its first store in Utah for later today, but earlier this week the state of Utah put Tesla’s plan on halt.
The state refused to grant the dealership a license for selling cars, because law in Utah prohibits manufacturers from having more than 45% share in dealership networks. Well, Tesla doesn’t have dealership network, though the stores are considered as dealers 100% owned by the manufacturer, or so it is seems.
“The Utah attorney general’s office last week sent a letter to Tesla Motors on behalf of the Motor Vehicles Enforcement Division informing the company its license to sell cars in the state had been denied because it was defined under Utah law as a manufacturer and not a franchise owner.
Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, is proposing a bill, HB394, that would let Tesla make direct sales in Utah. It cleared committee Wednesday and is headed to the full House.
“It’s 2015. You can buy anything online,” said Coleman. “We’re about to drive a multimillion-dollar sales-tax-revenue base out of our state and we’ve rolled out the ‘unwelcome’ mat … so I think we need to change it.”
Jim Chen, vice president of regulatory affairs for Tesla Motors stated:
“We’ve been brought to a screeching halt. It’s kind of ironic that we have a state that is welcoming innovation and clean energy and basically we got halted in our tracks.”
Craig Bickmore, executive director of New Car Dealers of Utah ridiculed Tesla:
“[The law] has been established for a long time and they didn’t know that? That’s a little surprising for a high-tech company.”
War on direct sales to be continued…
Hat Tip to Mark Larsen and Chris S!!!
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune