Any AutoblogGreen reader who lives by a Tesla Motors store – or goes near one on vacation – has probably set foot inside and experienced the high-tech, open sales boutique (oh, and the cars). While the eight stores currently open across the U.S. do a fine job of showing off the Roadsters, the road to getting them in place hasn't always been an easy one to pave.
The challenge comes from the auto dealer laws in the U.S. In Colorado, for example, Tesla needed to get licensed both as a manufacturer and a dealer. Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, spoke to Automotive News (sub. req.) and said he'd been to Tesla's Boulder store and that, "It has a very fashionable feel to it. We wish them a lot of luck." He also said:
In Texas, Tesla admits, state laws might not be able to sell its cars to consumers there, but there's no definite decision on this. The company wants to have a larger number of stores fully operational for the Model S when it arrives in 2012, and who knows what the landscape will look like then.Have we scrutinized all the issues behind what they're doing? Not really. My feeling is that a manufacturer-owned store as a business model violates the spirit of the state law here. But not a single person is complaining about it, and it's kind of a back-burner thing for us. I imagine that if we start getting complaints from our membership, we would move it up to a front-burner thing.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]