After a long, drawn-out battle with auto dealers in Virginia, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has finally gotten the go-ahead to open up a single dealership in the northern part of the state. Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post reports that the automaker could open it up in Tysons Corner where it will be easily accessible to some of the wealthiest parts of the country.
Tesla battles auto dealers
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has faced opposition from auto dealers in several states. They’ve been opposing the company’s direct to consumer sales model, which they say violates franchise laws. The automaker has stores and service centers in Washington, D.C., California, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, New York and other areas.
Its dealership in Washington, D.C. has been open since 2011. It already has a showroom in Tysons Corner Center as well as Bethesda’s Montgomery Mall, although neither of those two showrooms is allowed to do anything but show off the cars.
Tesla makes headway in Virginia
Tesla applied for an exemption to Virginia’s law which requires automakers to use dealership franchises to sell vehicles, although Virginia DMV commissioner Richard Holcomb rejected the company’s bid. After that, the automaker sued. Last month after negotiations with the state and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) agreed to withdraw its lawsuit. In exchange, it will be allowed to apply for just one license to sell vehicles in the northern part of Virginia.
At this point the company does still have to get its official license to sell vehicles in Virginia, and that usually takes a few weeks. In order to receive that license, the company “must meet the statutory requirements applicable to dealers and obtain a license for the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board,” according to a spokesperson for the Virginia DMV.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has not announced exactly where its dealership will be, and it says it is evaluating possible locations.