Tesla gets approval to open second dealership in Virginia

Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb reverses earlier decision.

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Tesla Motors received approval from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to open a dealership in the Richmond area, which would be its second company-owned showroom within the state, according to the Washington Post. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb reversed an earlier decision that had prohibited Tesla from opening the additional dealership because he determined that there wasn't an appropriate alternative in the form of a third-party dealership in the immediate area.

The California-based electric-vehicle maker was granted its first dealership license from the state in December 2013, and subsequently opened a showroom in Tysons Corner near Washington, D.C.

"This decision will allow Richmond-area consumers to learn about and purchase their Tesla vehicles in closer proximity to their homes," Tesla said in a statement e-mailed to Autoblog. "We intend to swiftly begin construction to open our new store and service center at 9850 West Broad Street and look forward to joining Richmond's business community."

The decision marks the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between the automaker and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA). This past spring, VADA accused Tesla of operating illegally out of its Tysons Corner location as well as improper advertising. VADA has also argued that Tesla can't legally open a second store in the state until at least next summer. Tesla also has a "gallery," where it can show vehicles but not sell them or offer them for test drives, in McLean.

Holcomb's ruling marks a victory with Tesla, which continues to shave down the number of states that bar automakers from owning dealerships and selling directly to customers. That list of states includes Texas, Connecticut, Michigan, Missouri, Utah, and West Virginia.

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