Tesla makes third attempt to open San Antonio showroom

Tesla is banned from selling vehicles directly to consumers in Texas.

Tesla Motors can't seem to forget the Alamo. The California-based electric-vehicle maker is working on plans for a showroom and service center in San Antonio, Teslarati says. This marks the third time Tesla has pushed for a facility in the second-largest city in Texas, a state that has long maintained its stance against allowing Tesla to sell its cars directly to consumers without using a third-party dealership.

Tesla has filed a permit with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The permit indicates that Tesla will spend about $250,000 renovating what was previously office space for a cybersecurity firm. Tesla is looking to start the renovations as soon as November and to complete the job by the end of the year. The company will have about 12,000 square feet of space once the work is finished.

Tesla has made two previous attempts to develop a showroom space in San Antonio. The most recent attempt was scuttled because of environmental concerns over Tesla's car batteries.

Tesla has seven showrooms in Texas, including two in the Austin area, two in Houston, two in Dallas, and one in Fort Worth. The San Antonio facility will house a showroom and service center, but won't allow sales. That's because Texas, along with Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, Utah, and West Virginia, bars Tesla from selling its vehicles directly to the public without using a third-party dealership.

But there are signs that Tesla's pro-dealership lobby may be losing its grip over the issue. Almost 90 percent of the more than 8,000 delegates at a GOP convention said they were against removing legal language in support of direct vehicle sales.

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