The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which represents 16,000 new-vehicle dealers, is looking to meet with executives at Tesla Motors over the company's decision to have only company-owned dealerships and no franchised sales, Bloomberg News reported.
NADA also said it would provide legal support for dealers suing the luxury electric-vehicle maker. Dealer groups in Massachusetts and New York have both sued Tesla, alleging that the company is violating state laws that prohibit automakers from owning dealerships. One plaintiff is a dealer that sells Fisker extended-range electric vehicles and is believed to be seeking a Tesla franchise. Tesla chief Elon Musk recently defended the company's sales strategy and setup.
Musk argued that a traditional dealer would have a conflict of interest if he also sold more conventional vehicles. Musk also said that the nature of the Tesla involves more extensive knowledge of the vehicle than typically expected at a dealership, and that most conventional-car buyers walking into a dealer with Teslas wouldn't buy the EV anyway.