Tesla Motors on Wednesday received court approval to reopen its three Missouri showrooms after the California-based automaker had to shutter them on Jan. 1st to comply with a judge's decision. The electric-vehicle maker operates one showroom near St. Louis and two in Kansas City. Tesla received allowance after getting a motion to stay the earlier order from the Missouri Court of Appeals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says.

The re-opening is the latest chapter in a battle that has raged since early 2015. That's when the Missouri Auto Dealers Association (MADA) sued the state over what the trade group alleged was the illegal allowance of Tesla to sell its cars directly to the public without a third-party dealership.

Tesla was informed in August that it would have to give up its sales license at the end of the year. Last week, Cole County Circuit Court judge denied Tesla's motion to stay, but that rejection was overturned on Wednesday.

Tesla had planned to open a fourth in-state dealership in Chesterfield at the old Kemp Auto Museum site, which is located about 20 miles west of St. Louis.

"Tesla has been selling cars in Missouri for almost four years and employs numerous people at its Missouri sales locations," a company spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to Autoblog early Wednesday, before the motion to stay was granted. The automaker said the revocation of Tesla's license to operate dealerships in the state would create "an immediate and unnecessary loss of jobs, tax revenue, consumer convenience, and consumer choice for Missourians."

While most US states have overridden dealership lobbyists to allow Tesla to sell its cars directly to consumers, Michigan and Texas are among the holdouts where Tesla sales are prohibited. Most recently, an application by Tesla to open a showroom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was denied in September.

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