Tesla has been working hard to operate its own dealerships in several states, but franchise laws and dealers associations are always blocking its path. This happened again Wednesday when a lawsuit was filed against the EV firm by the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA) to keep it from starting a second dealership in the state.
Tesla working secretly
In a suit filed in circuit court in Fairfax County, VADA claimed that Tesla and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner, Richard D. Holcomb, are violating a 2013 agreement that prevents the EV firm from owning and operating a second dealership in Virginia, at least until August 2017.
In the Tysons Corner area of Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., the electric car maker has a dealership which was opened in February 2015. The electric car maker and the Virginia DMV are trying to keep information about the automaker’s efforts to open a second dealership secret, said the president of VADA, Don Hall, in an interview with Reuters. Holcomb also named a hearing officer for a DMV hearing at Tesla’s request, claims the suit. The hearing is set for March 31.
“They tried to get this done very quickly, in the dark of the night, in hopes that no one could know about it,” Hall said.
Hall told the media outlet that a lawsuit was filed against the electric car maker on Wednesday when a member of his organization learned of a real estate deal for a property in Richmond for a Tesla store. As of now, there have been no comments on the matter from Tesla or the DMV.
Model 3 on the way
In other Tesla news, invitations are being sent for the long-awaited debut of the Model 3. The event will take place in Los Angeles on March 31, and the electric car maker will at least offer a look at the 200-mile, $35,000 electric car. Elon Musk previously said the automaker won’t reveal everything about the Model 3 until the car gets closer to production.
Tesla’s Model 3 is expected to be a smaller version of the Model S with less luxurious features. The electric car maker may reportedly debut a “stripped down Model X,” probably to be called the Model Y, at the same time as the Model 3.