Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) executives were in Massachusetts on Thursday to lobby for legislation that would allow it to sell its vehicles directly to consumers. The automaker has been fighting battles in several states to defend its sales model, which avoids the use of a dealership.
Tesla Motors Goes To Natick, Mass.
On Thursday, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) gave test drives to two Massachusetts lawmakers as part of its lobbying efforts. State Democratic Reps. John Scibak and David Linsky both drove the Model S, and according to a report by Brian Benson in The MetroWest Daily News, both of them were impressed by it.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently opened a showroom in Natick, Mass. The showroom in Natick makes it possible for customers to learn about the technology which drives Tesla’s vehicles, customize their own Model S and even make reservations to have a test drive.
The Massachusetts Automobile Dealers Association sued the automaker and also the City of Natick, alleging that the showroom violates state laws restricting factory-owned dealerships of vehicles. The lawsuit against Tesla was tossed out by a Superior Court judge, although the suit against the city is still pending. The dealers association is also appealing the dismissal of the case against Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).
Legislation About Tesla Motors’ Sales Model
The dealers association also filed a piece of legislation which would help clarify the state law it claims prevents Tesla from selling its vehicles directly to consumers. The group is being assisted by Democratic State Sen. Marc Pacheco.
Rep. Linsky, one of the two lawmakers who test drove the Model S, is helping Tesla work on a piece of legislation of its own. He filed a bill that would allow dealerships to be owned by manufacturers if there is not a franchise agreement between any independent dealer in the state and the manufacturer.
Tesla’s Battles In Other States
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has faced off with dealership associations in several states. Recently it lost the fight in Texas after some legislation it proposed failed to make it to the floor for a vote. The automaker has won battles in other states however, including Minnesota and New York.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has said that if they continue to run into problems with their sales model at the state level, they will take the battle to the federal level.