Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) aims to expand its business in Ohio, but its plan is facing obstacles from the auto dealers’ association in the state. The association is pushing for legislation that would block the electric car manufacturer from selling its vehicles directly to consumers.
The Ohio Dealers Association is supporting an amendment to the Ohio Senate Bill 137 that would require Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to sell its vehicles through traditional auto dealers.
Proposed bill could freeze Tesla growth in Ohio
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is scheduled to open its first store in Easton Town Center in Ohio next week. The electric car manufacturer is also expected to open its store in Cincinnati by the end of this month. If lawmakers in the State approve the proposed amendment in the Ohio Senate Bill 137, the electric car manufacturer will not be able to expand its business operations in other cities in the state.
In an e-mail to Laura Newpoff, assistant managing editor of Business First, Alexis Georgeson, a spokesperson for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) commented that Ohio Auto Dealers Associations is attempting to shut down the ability of the company to expand its operations in the state beyond the two stores by pushing the amendment in the Senate Bill 137.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) argued that it is necessary for the company to open its own retail stores to educate consumers regarding its vehicles and overcome the barriers to its entry in the market.
In North Carolina, legislators voted unanimously to block the online sales of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). However, the company managed to end the anti-Tesla legislation after convincing North Carolina House Speaker Thomas Tillis not to vote on the legislation approved by the state senate. The electric car manufacturer lobbied against the legislation by inviting lawmakers in the state to test drive its Model S vehicle.
Tesla uses direct experience to change hearts and minds
The Washington Post reported that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is using the same lobbying technique to prevent the approval of the amendment in the Ohio Senate Bill 137. Lawmakers in Ohio were seen testing the Model S.
Meanwhile, the stock price of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose 16.53 to $144.70 a share due to reports that investigators in Germany concluded that they did not find any manufacturer-related defects in their investigation related to the Model S fires.