Judge says Tesla mall store can go forward, for now
We’ll let Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk write the lede on this one: “Mass. judge denies auto dealers’ demand to kill our little Tesla store,” Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Yay, justice prevails.”
Indeed, a Massachusetts judge has denied a request among auto dealers to restrict the electric-vehicle maker from operating its own retail stores, according to Automotive Week reports. The ruling appears to be a departure of sorts from the “church and state” set-up of vehicle makers and dealers, in which the auto companies are required to grant franchises instead of selling the vehicles themselves.
In this case, Tesla, so far, is cleared to open a retail store outside of Boston. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, which sued Tesla last month, may appeal the decision, while the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) declined to comment. NADA said late last month that it was looking to meet with Tesla executives to re-think the idea of opening company-owned retail stores, and added that it would provide legal support for dealer groups that decided to take action against Tesla.
Ever the non-traditionalist, Musk has long argued that a franchised dealer would likely lack the knowledge necessary to provide expertise on the EVs.
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By Danny King