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 can't disclose prices, conduct test drives or even talk about financing options to prospective customers.

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.

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.


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  • 166 Comments
      nocommie11
      • 8 Months Ago
      Oh the dealers will definitely try to hold onto the outdated model with their teeth, but Texas will never let a new revenue of sales taxes slip away to some state like Commiefornia.
      Justin Campanale
      • 8 Months Ago
      This is crony capitalism at its worst. It only favors the free market when it itself is favored. When in doesn't then large multinational corporations pimp themselves out to politicians, and in return, the politicians enact a barrage of regulations in order to steamroll lesser competition. This is what modern fascism looks like. It does not take the form of a Red Shirt movement, but rather comes in the form of multinational corporations and the behind-closed-doors actions which take place.
        Michaele
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        It's not crony capitalism at all. It's legal bribes in the form of campaign financing and lobbying. Anything to deny people what is really in their best interests.
      bluepongo1
      • 8 Months Ago
      The NADA can keep fighting the future, the writing is on the wall ( or on the internet which killed their business model, really.). A group plugging holes in their sinking business model with money from their inferior products (which they don't own the patents for.) isn't sustainable.
        bluepongo1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bluepongo1
        Also, for those taking the future end of a zombie business model way too personally: the only current winners are the political/lawyer type leeches getting paid for lawfare inherent in the conflict .not .Tesla. Consumers might win in the distant future when this obstructionist death knell is over.
      knightrider_6
      • 8 Months Ago
      "the company has spent less than half of what dealership entities have spent in the state on lobbying efforts" Isn't it sad that the odds of passing a law depend on how much lobbying money was spent rather than what is in the best interest of people?
      CruzControl
      • 8 Months Ago
      You know it's hard out there for a billionaire.
      Kevin Potts
      • 8 Months Ago
      Considering that Texas likes to boast of their capitalist ideology, this law reeks of anti-competitiveness.
        ezbakelovin
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Kevin Potts
        Actually it expands the opportunity for job and business growth. Think about it, these dealer networks provide many jobs as well as franchising opportunity for those with the know how.
      Yoeun Pen
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sure doesn't sound like "land of the free" to me.
        sp33dklz
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Yoeun Pen
        I hate dealerships and refuse to deal with them on these basis alone. They are there to squeeze extra money out of the consumer for something that can be offered at a manufacturer level. Can you imagine American's rage if they couldn't buy Coca-Cola at a Coca-Cola store because 7-11 told them it was illegal?
      Nick Kordich
      • 8 Months Ago
      "What's really being said" is a figure of speech, meaning the commenter (Michaele) is about to imply a meaning about an action or circumstance. The subject performing the action in this case would be the "Texas politicians," not Autoblog - the quoted material from the article just provides context.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      OK . . . when Tesla eventually wins this fight, Elon Musk needs to hold a press conference and just say "Don't mess with Teslas!" and then drop the mike and walk off.
      Ben Crockett
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sounds like a case of "Don't mess with Texas" - from a political standpoint.
        Ben Crockett
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Not sure why I got so heavily down rated there - Just meant that the current political party has a particular political agenda and sticking to it - be it good or bad. I didnt mean to infer a political position either way.
        Michaele
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ben Crockett
        Nothing of the kind. it's politics and legal bribery.
          HollywoodF1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Michaele
          Neither is rape or molestation. I guess you stand behind those institutions as well.
          Tom
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Michaele
          happens all over the world and all over the country. Its not anything new.
      Jake
      • 8 Months Ago
      So much knee jerk ignorance in one comment thread already.
      Nick Kordich
      • 8 Months Ago
      @AcidTonic - In this case, 7-11 is the local business (a franchise business, with local owners who have organized under an in-state association to protect their interests, even though individually they may have connections to differing out of state brands, just as car dealers of different makes are a part of NADA/TADA). Coca-Cola is the out of state manufacturer. Tesla can't sell Teslas from the Tesla store because the Texas Auto Dealers Association said so would have an analog in Coca-Cola not being able to sell their drink at Coca-Cola-owned stores because the Texas Food and Fuel Association (a real thing - http://txfoodandfuel.org/) lobbied to prevent it.
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