Following the recent decision by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner to reverse a ruling made in September denying Tesla a local dealership license, the company has revealed that it will immediately begin work on a new store and service center to be located at 9850 West Broad Street.
Why did the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner reverse the earlier ruling? Apparently because of “overwhelming” public support, and because Tesla has unique sales and service requirements that can’t really be met by any independent dealers in Richmond.
So, Tesla has a point then — if it was forced to rely on independent dealers, sales and customer satisfaction would be far, far lower than they are now. Independent dealers have practically no incentive to push Teslas, and nearly every incentive to work against the adoption of Teslas and electric vehicles (EVs) in general.
TechCrunch provides more: “While the state’s Automobile Dealers Association lobbied to prevent the license being granted, the commissioner noted in his ruling that even by their own admission they would not be able to make money on operating third-party Tesla dealerships given the carmaker’s sale model. The commissioner also cited Tesla’s leading customer satisfaction stores for the quality of its service centers as another reason for granting the license. Another reason given for allowing the license is the distance prospective Virginia Tesla customers would have to travel to find a store, and then to service one post-purchase.”
A spokesperson for Tesla provided the response below to the media outlet when queried on the matter:
Tesla applauds the Commissioner’s decision to allow us to open our new store and service center in Richmond, Virginia.
This decision will allow Richmond-area consumers to learn about and purchase their Tesla vehicles in closer proximity to their homes. We are thankful for the many Tesla owners and Virginians for their support.
We intend to swiftly begin construction to open our new store and service center at 9850 West Broad Street and look forward to joining Richmond’s business community.
Great news. There are now only a few holdouts left — as far as states in the pockets of car dealership lobbies and working against Tesla’s direct sales business model. Hopefully they won’t last too long.