Tesla pushes to sell cars in Detroit's backyard
Tesla will continue to lobby policy makers in the state for much of 2016, but so far that effort has fallen on deaf ears due to the political strength of automakers and sellers there. "There doesn't seem to be much interest from not only the dealers, but manufacturers like GM that want to continue to shut us out of the market entirely," Tesla vice president of regulatory affairs Jim Chen told the News.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed the law in October 2014 to make direct sales impossible there, and the legislature passed it with overwhelming support. General Motors also issued a statement at that time in favor of the bill. Not only does the rule prevent Tesla from opening showrooms, the company can't even service vehicles there. The legislation means interested customers must go to other states or Canada to buy a Model S.
Tesla has its own group of supporters, though. Three staff members from Federal Trade Commission urged Michigan legislators to allow direct sales in a letter earlier this year. According to the News, a University of Michigan law professor also scheduled an upcoming lecture at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy to make a similar argument.
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