In another bit of news concerning the ongoing Tesla versus the auto dealerships battle, the electric vehicle pioneer reportedly went to the Utah Supreme Court in an attempt to be granted approval to sell its vehicles directly to consumers in the state, rather than being forced to go through a third-party auto dealer.
The news follows the situation earlier this year whereby Tesla and state authorities were working on a compromise that would allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers in the state. This deal (HB384) fell through owing to stipulations concerning allowances for on-site vehicle inventory, and the desire of Utah authorities to restrict buyers from driving off the lot with their new cars. The stipulations would have forced Tesla to deliver vehicles to buyers rather than allow buyers to drive off the lot with them.
In its coverage, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah Supreme Court will likely take a few weeks to decide on a ruling.
As it stands, Tesla operates showrooms in South Salt Lake where the company can show interested customers the vehicles that it sells, but where store reps can’t discuss pricing, delivery, or anything important. Interested customers are simply directed to Tesla’s website. Tesla also operates 11 Supercharger stations in the state.
Notably, Utah is one of the few holdouts remaining as far as allowing some form of direct sales. The other holdouts are Michigan (no surprise, despite a lot of irony), Texas, Connecticut, and Missouri. Tesla is currently pursuing various legal actions in these states.
While the holdup in Michigan is in a way understandable (the strong auto industry lobby there), the holdup in Texas and Utah is seemingly harder to explain. It really just seems to be that there are some people involved in the legislature that directly benefit from the third-party auto dealership paradigm, and so the states are dragging this thing out as long as possible.
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