Tesla can't even service its cars in Michigan

Michigan Remains One Of Five States To Uphold Direct Sales Ban

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Michigan-based owners of the Tesla Model S luxury-electric sedan can fast-charge their cars through two Supercharger stations within the state. But they can't service those vehicles. That's because lawmakers in the US state most associated with building cars continue to prohibit the direct company-to-consumer sales model that Tesla uses.

Such was the gist of comments Tesla's Diarmuid O'Connell made to reporters earlier this week, the Detroit News says. Michigan is one of five US states – the others are Arizona, Texas, Connecticut, and West Virginia – that outright prohibits direct automaker-to-consumer vehicle sales. These states require a third-party dealership to sell new cars, and the dividing line extends to operating servicing centers as well.

Tesla executives continue to lobby Michigan lawmakers and say the company ultimately wants to have between five and 10 stores in the Mitten State. The Federal Trade Commission has even gotten involved, pushing Michigan lawmakers to allow direct sales. Despite not being able to buy the EVs in the state, there are about 300 Tesla Model S vehicles on Michigan's roads today.

But Michigan's dealership lobbying efforts remain strong, and Michigan-based General Motors has also tried to thwart some of Tesla's efforts, lobbying this spring against a law allowing for direct Tesla sales in Maryland. The Maryland law was eventually passed.

California-based Tesla on Wednesday released its second-quarter financial results and said it would deliver between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles this year, compared to its prior prediction of an even 55,000. Deliveries of its Model X SUV are finally slated to start in September, while the less expensive Model 3 is predicted to see the light of day next March before going on sale in 2017.

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