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Tesla Attacks Michigan Bill That Blocks It From Opening Stores

The electric vehicle company is calling on the governor to veto the measure.

Tesla Motors

In a blog post Thursday night, Tesla criticized Michigan’s legislature for passing a bill earlier this month that would prevent the electric car manufacturer from opening a store in the state.

It’s the latest chapter in the ongoing battle over Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model, which has pitted the Palo Alto, Calif., company against auto dealers and trade groups pushing for more or stronger franchise laws. At least 10 states have seen legislative showdowns in recent months over such rules, which prevent manufacturers like Tesla from selling automobiles to end customers, with varying results.

The bill, HB 5606, is now on the desk of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who has until Oct. 21 to sign it into law. Tesla is calling on consumers to urge him to veto it.

“By striking a single, but critical, word from … the law governing franchise relations in Michigan, the dealers seek to force Tesla, a company that has never had a franchise dealership, into a body of law solely intended to govern the relationship between a manufacturer and its associated dealers,” the company wrote. “In so doing, they create an effective prohibition against Tesla opening a store in Michigan.”

“This amendment goes even further,” the post continued. “It also seeks to prevent Tesla from operating a gallery in Michigan that simply provides information without conducting sales. We could even be barred from telling people about our car.”

Tesla said that the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association pushed the change.

States including Arizona, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia have recently retained or added laws restricting Tesla’s ability to operate stores.

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