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.]