Tesla wins license to sell cars near Boston
Tesla Motors Inc. will soon be taking purchase reservations at a suburban Boston store after municipal officials approved a dealer license for the company.
After months of opposition from local dealers and the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, the town of Natick's Board of Selectmen on Monday approved a Class 1 dealer license for a Tesla location on West Central Street in the Boston suburb. It will open as soon as possible and offer consumer test drives of Tesla's electric vehicles.
The approval, by a 4-1 vote, is "much appreciated!" Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday night.
The dealers association argued against approval of the license at Monday's meeting. Robert O'Koniewski, the association's executive vice president, expressed disappointment today.
"We felt we laid out compelling reasons for why the town should not approve the license, and we will explore further what our next point of action is going to be," O'Koniewski said.
The association and some dealers are suing Tesla. They say Tesla's stores violate the state's licensing, consumer protection and franchise laws. Massachusetts prohibits factory ownership of dealerships.
The Natick board's approval is conditional. Tesla must transfer its lease for the West Central Street location to its Massachusetts subsidiary. That site will become Tesla's second location in Natick. The company opened a showroom in the Natick Mall in September. But town zoning regulations prohibited Tesla from taking reservations at that location, a local newspaper reported.
In a statement today, Tesla said the approval "will enable us to provide the residents of Natick and surrounding areas with a complete experience that will take them from initial education and information about EVs to the purchase, delivery and service of their Tesla vehicle if they choose to buy one."
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