Cars Tesla Model X electric SUV

Published on June 27th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Tesla Still Allowed To Sell Its Own Vehicles In New York

June 27th, 2013 by  

This article originally appeared on Gas2.

Tesla Model X electric SUV

The New York State Automobile Dealers Association is pressuring the government to ban automobile manufacturers from registering their own stores, in order to force them to sell through third-party dealers. But a bill put before the New York State legislature died on the vine, leaving auto dealers wringing their hands.

This is yet another attempt by an automobile dealer association to prevent Tesla Motors and anyone else from selling their own cars directly to consumers. There were successful attempts to block Tesla sales in Virginia and Texas, while Massachusetts and Minnesotta have shot down similar bills. Meanwhile North Carolina is still considering which way to vote. Battle lines are being drawn, and New York is a big target for both sides.

Yet many of these dealers associations seem to be resorting to fear-mongering to get their point across. It is interesting how Don Hall of VADA implied that what Tesla Motors was doing was illegal by saying that Tesla Motors must “abide by the law”, while at the same time advocating the passage of a law that would make what they are already doing (direct sales) illegal.

Don is just trying to get people to think Tesla Motors is breaking the law so they will agree with him, and prevent the public outcry that stopped New York’s similar bill. It worked in Virginia, but car dealers are far from loved here in America, and if these associations push too hard, they could trigger a Federal ruling that could disassemble the automotive franchise system entirely.

Dealer associations are treading on thin ice, though it is still too soon to say which side is winning the war. Arguably, the dealers have the most to lose, so expect this fight to get fiercer before it slows down.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Ty Coon

    cars dealers are hated even more than politicans. I hope this blows up in their faces. Wouldn’t it be great to pay 2-5000 less for the SAME vehicle you want to buy? Why keep feeding these vultures?

  • Matt

    Car dealerships worked hard to build the rep which places them next to congress on the list of people we distrust and expect to try to screw us ever change they get. They don’t want EV to sell, much less maintenance revenue for them, and the Tesla model really bends them. Of course over time, there will be Tesla service centers around the country; someone will run those.

  • rkt9

    States that pass these laws will lose substantial revenue in sales tax, as buyers go to neighboring states to conduct their transactions.

    Furthermore who will support local radio and television if there is not a strong network of dealerships? Guess we’ll be inundated with even more ads for trial lawyers. :o)

    • Bob_Wallace

      Tesla needs mobile salesrooms. Prearrange the sale, meet the customer one mile over the state line with their chosen S on a trailer, do the paperwork, and let other states pocket the tax.

      Actually, I doubt these state laws would hold up under a court challenge. They’re interfering with interstate commerce by requiring a third party in the transaction. It’s really nothing but a shakedown racket.

      • Marion Meads

        It’s been done with selling wine. For example, a winery in California cannot sell and ship wine directly to a legal age consumer residing in New York. The online purchase must be through one of the registered wine distributors of New York.

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