Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has won the exclusive right to sell its vehicles directly to Ohio consumers, but just in three major cities. Nonetheless, it’s a win in a state where a complete ban could have been voted through.
Tesla wins a deal in Ohio
According to Fox News, auto dealers in Ohio have agreed to allow Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to sell its cars in their state. It sounds similar in some ways to the agreement Tesla made with dealers in Washington State. A Senate panel approved the deal between Tesla and the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association.
The new bill allows Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to keep its two current stores in Cincinnati and Columbus and open a third one in Cleveland. However, those are the only three stores the automaker will be allowed to open in the state. In addition, Tesla is the only automaker allowed to sell its vehicles directly to consumers in Ohio.
How Tesla could impact the presidential election
Wired staff writer Marcus Wohlsen suggests that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s very political battle could spill over into the presidential race. Candidates from both major parties have been jockeying for position in the fight. Republicans initially put up the biggest fight, but many of them seem to be changing their views—for one reason or another.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney famously called Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) a “loser” during his campaign. Needless to say, he didn’t win. More recently, Republican Gov. Chris Christie opposed Tesla, signing a bill into law which bans the automaker from selling its vehicles in his state. But then Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also a Republican, began to defend Tesla and what it represents—more choice for consumers.
By opposing Christie, who he will likely face in the Republican presidential primary, he can win over Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s fan base—a group which seems to be growing rapidly, based on how popular the automaker’s cars are. Democrats in New Jersey are also jumping on the bandwagon, opposing Gov. Christie by supporting Tesla against the state’s ban.
Tesla = innovation
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another Republican, seems to have had a change of heart on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Once again, this one is probably politically motivated, as he seeks to convince the automaker to build its gigafactory in his state, bringing thousands of jobs along with it. Along with the jobs and the massive facility, Tesla brings even more innovation to Texas, where several innovative technology companies, like Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), have major presences. Tesla would be among good company there, just as it is in Silicon Valley.
And if Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) could continue linking its brand with an image of innovation, just as it has, then the automaker could see political support rise even further. Politicians in both parties like the word “innovation,” so by expressing their support for Tesla, they show their support for innovation. It really isn’t that different from the praise President Barack Obama has given to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) throughout his career.
And if Tesla really is the new Apple, then politicians who want to be president might want to jump on board and stop fighting it.