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Tesla Fails in Second Bid to Sell Cars in Texas

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/29/2015 Kelly Pleskot

For the second time in two years, Texas has shut out Tesla by dismissing legislation that would allow the automaker to sell cars directly to consumers.

Research

Tesla is fighting a decades-old law in Texas requiring carmakers to distribute vehicles through dealerships. But two bills that would have helped Tesla never even made it to the House of Representatives or the Senate for a vote. Now that the legislature recesses on June 1, Tesla will have to wait a long time if it wants to try again.

“They are thwarting the will of the people,” Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development for Tesla, told Bloomberg Business. “That it doesn’t even get a fair hearing -- much less a vote -- is to me very odd and disturbing." Meanwhile, Red McCombs, the billionaire founder of his namesake dealership in San Antonio, shares a different sentiment, saying, "[Tesla is] going to have to play by the same rules that the competition plays by.”

Considering Texas is the second biggest auto market in the U.S. after California, Tesla could make bank if direct sales are approved. However, more than 2,500 Model S vehicles have somehow made their way onto Texas roads through other means.

2015 Tesla Model S 70D Tesla Fails in Second Bid to Sell Cars in Texas

The Lone Star state has some of the strictest dealership laws in the country, which has made Tesla's battle particularly tough as it tries to sell cars directly to consumers around the nation. But not all of Tesla's efforts have fallen on deaf ears. This year, Tesla has gained approval for direct sales in Georgia, Maryland, and New Jersey. Meanwhile, pressure is underway to lift the sales ban in Michigan, as well as Arizona, Connecticut, and West Virginia. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

Source: Bloomberg

2014 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Tesla Model S
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