The Lone Star state has got both Tesla Motors and buyers of its Model S electric vehicles feeling like a bunch of outlaws. Texas has what's regarded as the most stringent laws prohibiting automakers from owning dealerships and is putting both Model S buyers and Tesla store and service-center operators through the proverbial wringer. There are ways around the law, though, as you can read on Green Car Reports.
In Texas, Tesla retail stores aren't allowed to disclose prices, conduct test drives or even talk about purchasing or leasing options to prospective customers. In fact, Texas messes with Tesla service centers so much that they can't advertise themselves as, well, Tesla service centers and can't display Tesla logos, nor can they make service appointments (those must be done through Tesla's California headquarters). Meanwhile, Texas Model S buyers get their cars shipped to them with no license plates, with temporary registration, with no new-owner orientation and often with a layer of dirt on the sedans.
In Texas, Tesla retail stores can't disclose prices, conduct test drives or even talk about financing options to prospective customers.
Tesla has delayed enforcement of similar laws in states like Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina, and CEO Elon Musk is ready to lobby Congress to get such laws changed on a federal level. Still, while Tesla has gone to Texas to try to sway legislators, the company has spent less than half of what dealership entities have spent in the state on lobbying efforts, leaving the status quo in place. Texas will revisit the dealership law in 2015.