In a minor victory for the company in its ongoing conflict with the various car dealership associations of the US, Tesla has maintained its right to open a new gallery showroom on Greenwich Avenue (Greenwich) in Connecticut.
The be more specific on the matter, the Automotive Retailers Association’s lawsuit to block Tesla from opening its new showroom in the state was dismissed by a Connecticut Superior Court judge. This follows the local zoning board initially denying Tesla’s request, before then being overruled by the Board of Appeals.
The showroom mentioned above isn’t a full-scale sales center, as Tesla is currently banned from direct sales in the state, but it would allow interested parties to take an up-close look at Tesla’s offerings, as well as buy accessories. Purchases would still have to be made online or elsewhere, and test drives wouldn’t be available at the location.
Teslarati provides more: “The decision by the Board of Appeals also specified that Tesla could not install a Supercharger at that location. Nevertheless, CARA objected that the gallery constitutes a miniature dealership located on a street where commercial space is at a premium. It contends having the gallery there puts its members at a competitive disadvantage.”
Tesla issued a statement on the matter: “We agree with the decision of the judge and encourage legislators to contemplate the benefits Tesla can bring the state, if allowed. It is unfortunate that CARA’s efforts, if successful would impair consumer choice, limit economic growth and negatively impact public health. We will continue to educate Connecticut consumers on the benefits of sustainable energy in the meantime, and look forward to a permanent solution.”
Predictably, the president of the dealer association Jim Fleming commented that the organization would be pursuing other options to ensure that “Tesla follows the law.”
Regarding a bill to legalize direct sales in the state, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff stated: “I think the Tesla bill is coming back this year… (With regard to last year’s effort) I tried in good faith to find an agreement, but the goalposts kept moving.”
As a bit of cold water here on the dealership association’s arguments, those in Connecticut who want a Tesla are still getting one — they just aren’t doing so in the state, and all of the associated tax money is instead going to neighboring states.