It may not be "Mr. Musk Goes to Washington," but it's about as close has you can get. Tesla Motors has reached an agreement with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association that could get the electric-vehicle maker a couple of steps closer to opening its factory-owned dealership in the DC suburb of Tysons Corner, VA, according to Automotive News.
The California-based company plans to withdraw its lawsuit against the state and would still need approval from the Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, which said it hadn't received Tesla's application for a dealership. Still, Tesla is already leasing space at its prospective location but didn't offer AN a timetable for a dealership application.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long argued that company-owned dealerships are necessary to properly sell EVs because of the unconventional technology built into cars such as the Tesla Model S and the potential conflict of interests of non-affiliated dealerships that also sell gas-powered cars. Tesla has battled dealer organizations in states such as Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts and Texas over its direct-sales tactics. The state dealership groups have insisted on maintaining long-held laws that prevent car companies from owning dealerships.
Musk has said he'd be willing to lobby Congress (as if it doesn't have its own problems right now) over the issue, while Tesla advocates have gone as far as petitioning the White House to get such laws overturned.