Tesla wins round in fight to sell cars in Massachusetts

Tesla's direct sales practices are rankling auto dealers.
All photos by Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal

Tesla's direct sales practices are rankling auto dealers. 

It was a big deal when Tesla Motors shook up the car industry with its stupid-fast, super sexy all-electric Roadster. But just as transformative may be the way Tesla chose to sell it’s cars – directly to customers through online portals in stores.

This has pissed off car dealers who want Tesla to follow the rules and regs of independent franchised dealers. Some 48 states have banned or restricted car factories from owning dealerships.

Dealer groups including the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association are suing Tesla. And on Friday, the Massachusetts’ dealer association sought an injunction to stop Tesla from selling its cars in suburban Boston.

On Tuesday, a judge denied that request, giving Tesla a little victory in this ongoing war with traditional auto dealers.

Despite the injunction denial. Robert O'Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts association told Automotive News that dropping the lawsuit “is not an option at this point.”

"We feel very strongly that Tesla is operating a factory store outside parameters of our franchise law and our license law, and they are operating that store illegally."

From the Boston Business Journal.

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