Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is all set to open another store in Georgia on November 4th at a time when the company is fighting an intense battle with traditional car dealers over its direct sales model. The store on Church Street in Decatur will have a service center situated in a former Isuzu dealership.
Tesla sees potential in metro Atlanta
The 18,000-square foot dealership covers 2.5-acres and is located next to a BMW dealership. Tesla has, however, not confirmed the reports yet, says a report from Biz Journals. The electric vehicle manufacturer knows the potential of the metro Atlanta area as the car maker has already sold around 800 of its sedans from its Marietta store. There is a service center and showroom in Marietta, and the company is also planning to open 3,000-square foot store in Buckhead’s Lenox Square Mall.
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Additionally, to increase the supply, Tesla plans to invest in charging infrastructure in metro Atlanta. The company is going forward with its plan to install six to eight high-speed electric vehicle chargers at Atlantic Station. Tesla Superchargers charge the car enough to run 150 miles in just 20 minutes, while it takes an hour to fully charge the car. Superchargers are only designed for the Tesla Model S and are free to use.
Ongoing battle over sales model
The Palo Alto-based company has long maintained that its Model S offers value and a great driving experience by cutting middleman costs, but the company is constantly wrangling over dealership friendly laws in various states such as Texas, New Jersey and Michigan.
In Georgia, the law requires the vehicle manufacturers to sell its cars through franchised dealerships. However, the manufacturers who sell customized vehicles are allowed linited direct sales. Such manufacturers are allowed to sell up to 149 vehicles per year through their own showrooms reports WABE.
Automobile Dealers Association in Georgia filed a petition with Georgia’s Office of Administrative stating that Tesla does not qualify as a custom designed car, and the dealers will be hurt by the company’s direct sales. The EV manufacturer, on the other hand, claims that the dealers do not want to let go of their monopoly in the distribution of retail cars.
As per a report from MojoMotors.com, currently 26 states have banned the direct auto sales.