Texas still not letting Tesla mess with in-state sales

Lone Star State Honcho Maintains Need For Third-Party Dealers

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Texas's head honcho is still saying no-go when it comes to Tesla Motors' ability to conduct its full range of business in the Lone Star State. Texas isn't likely to consider allowing Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to residents without a third-party dealership involved anytime soon, Bloomberg News says, citing an interview Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did on Bloomberg Radio. The governor cites the need for a sufficient auto-repair system that he says Tesla doesn't have in place.

Texas's heavy-duty dealership lobby probably has something to do with this as well. The state has long made sure that the current auto distribution system – in which an automaker and a dealer are owned by different entities – remains in place. Tesla's been trying for the better part of two years to get that changed. Despite's Abbott's concerns, the California-based company has four repair centers in the state as well as three showrooms to show off the electric vehicles. No cars can be sold from these locations.

Texas is home to about 3,000 Tesla Model S vehicles that have been "imported" from other states, and is the second largest US car market to California. This spring, state lawmakers once again blocked the company's efforts to get the distribution laws changed. This despite Tesla spending $150,000 on lobbying efforts during the fourth quarter of last year.

During the past year, Tesla managed to get Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey to change their laws and allow for direct vehicle sales in those states. It doesn't look like Texas will follow that route, though.

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