Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

"In recent years, Tesla Motors (recently renamed Tesla) has been engaged in a state-by-state ground way for the right to distribute it’s all-electric vehicles directly to consumers. The car dealers' lobby, with the political backing of General Motors, has fiercely battled back, relying on decades-old state dealer protection laws to argue that Tesla is legally bound to distribute through franchised dealers. Through a combination of favorable state legislative and judicial decisions, Tesla has won the right to distribute directly in many states, but remains categorically barred from direct distribution in important states like Michigan and Texas--and hence all direct distribution given its business model. While Tesla has taken the lead in fighting the issue, many other new entrants to the automobile market, such as Elio Motors, are closely watching the issue, hoping that Tesla's success will free up access to the heavily regulated U.S. automobile market."


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