Tesla's Retail Challenge

Tesla cleared to open up to 5 stores in Pa. under new law

3:15 pm U.S. ET | July 11, 2014
Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett signed a bill that will allow Tesla to operate up to five stores in the state.... Read More »

INTERACTIVE

Tesla's state-by-state battle with dealers

Automotive News is tracking the shifting battlegrounds in Tesla Motor's efforts to establish a manufacturer-owned retail model. This map will be regularly updated as news breaks. Read More


Tesla measure allowing 5 stores heads to Pa. governor's desk

4:20 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2014
Tesla Motors, which has battled auto dealer groups over its direct sales of electric cars through company-owned stores, won another victory in Pennsylvania and a measure there allowing it to expand retail operations is headed for the governor's desk.... Read More »

Five-store Tesla compromise reached in Pennsylvania

1:49 pm U.S. ET | June 26, 2014
The pro-Tesla legislation in Pennsylvania that helped spark a confrontation between dealers and other automakers earlier this month is now halfway to passage -- but with important new limits in place on the number of stores Tesla Motors would be allowed to own and operate in the state.... Read More »

EDITORIAL

Musk makes auto industry rethink basic assumptions

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is exerting an inordinate influence over the auto industry in many ways. But his biggest waves come in the area of factory-dealer relations.... Read More »

N.J. Assembly OKs bill to allow direct EV sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2014
The New Jersey General Assembly approved a bill last week to allow consumers to buy electric cars directly from a manufacturer. The bill now heads to the state Senate.... Read More »

Tesla sets up shop in Dallas -- minus test-drives and sales

4:12 pm U.S. ET | June 19, 2014
You can touch, but you can’t drive, a Model S electric car in the latest Tesla Motors gallery in Dallas’ Northpark Mall. Tesla plans to open the doors to its 2,200-square-foot gallery Friday morning in the state with some of the most restrictive auto dealer franchise laws in the country.... Read More »

N.J. Assembly OKs bill to allow Tesla direct sales

8:07 am U.S. ET | June 17, 2014
The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill to allow consumers to buy electric cars directly from a manufacturer. The bill now heads to the state Senate. Separately, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed previously approved legislation that would allow Tesla to continue selling at its five company-owned stores in that state.... Read More »

State franchise laws, sparked by Tesla, go too far, other automakers charge

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2014
Dealers' opposition to Tesla Motors' model of factory-owned stores has led states to propose laws defending franchised dealers. Automakers charge that the legal balance in the dealer-automaker relationship now is shifting too far in favor of dealers.... Read More »

NADA moves to counter franchise system critics

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2014
Franchised car dealers have taken plenty of heat for their resistance to Tesla Motors' state-by-state campaign to sell cars directly to consumers. Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, is ready to push back.... Read More »

Tesla gets reprieve in Missouri

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 19, 2014
Missouri state legislators scrapped a vote last week on a bill that would have prevented Tesla Motors Inc. from selling directly to consumers.... Read More »

Tesla catches break as Missouri puts direct-sale ban on hold

4:11 pm U.S. ET | May 15, 2014
The fate of Tesla Motors' retail strategy in Missouri is on hold after state legislators scrapped a vote on a bill that would have prevented the company from selling directly to consumers.... Read More »

Tesla faces new hurdle as Missouri weighs direct sales ban

4:34 pm U.S. ET | May 8, 2014
Tesla Motors says its fight to sell electric cars directly to consumers faces a new hurdle as Missouri's legislature is weighing a measure to bar its company-owned store system.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Tenacity serves Tesla CEO well

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 28, 2014
Don't forget how far Elon Musk has already brought Tesla into the automakers' world.... Read More »

FTC officials: Ban on Tesla's direct sales 'bad policy'

11:36 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2014
In an unusual move, three top officials with the FTC on Thursday came out in opposition to laws that ban automakers like Tesla Motors from selling automobiles directly to consumers.... Read More »

Pro-Tesla bill appears dead in Arizona Senate

10:33 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
A bill that would have allowed electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors to sell cars at its factory-owned showrooms in Arizona appears to be dead in the state's Senate. But Tesla vowed today to continue "re-engaging" the Legislature next year on the matter.... Read More »

Washington governor signs Tesla compromise bill

6:09 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
Washington state officially approved Tesla's direct-sales model last Thursday, when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing the electric-vehicle maker to continue selling its cars through its own, factory-owned showrooms instead of franchised dealerships in the state.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Is Tesla wasting time? Maybe not

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
Just because Automotive News' entire readership is scared is no reason to declare it a waste of time, energy and money.... Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2014
The National Automobile Dealers Association is one large gorilla, and Crain certainly does not want to cross it.... Read More »

Tesla appeals N.J. ruling on direct-sales ban

3:05 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
Tesla filed an appeal Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court to overturn last month's ruling that banned the electric-vehicle maker from selling its cars directly to consumers through factory-owned stores there.... Read More »

TESLA TENSION

N.J. weighs direct EV sales; states covet gigafactory

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
The Tesla vs. dealers clash was already intense. Now the fight has escalated, with the addition of presidential politics and bidding for a battery factory.... Read More »

KEITH CRAIN

Tesla's wasting time, energy, money

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
If you care about customers, you have to be able to take care of them when they need help. For some reason, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has decided to wage war with the retail business to the detriment of his customers.... Read More »

Tesla reaches deal to keep 5 N.Y. stores

5:58 pm U.S. ET | March 28, 2014
Tesla Motors and New York auto dealer lobbying groups reached an agreement that allows the electric-car maker to keep its five company-owned stores in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.... Read More »

Texas dealers argue against altering franchise laws to lure Tesla plant

3:39 pm U.S. ET | March 28, 2014
Texas dealers defended the state's franchise laws today, just days after Gov. Rick Perry suggested that the laws should be reviewed and perhaps changed to let Tesla Motors sell its electric vehicles directly to consumers.... Read More »

Ohio Senate panel approves bill allowing Tesla retail stores

6:16 pm U.S. ET | March 25, 2014
An Ohio Senate committee approved a bill barring automakers from selling directly to consumers except for three stores operated by Tesla Motors. The compromise was approved by Tesla and the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, which had sought to block the automaker's sales model, said Senator Scott Oelslager, the committee chairman.... Read More »

Tesla finds way to share the road with dealers in Washington state

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2014
On President's Day last month, about 40 electric-car advocates gathered under the rotunda at the state capitol in Washington state, where a lobbyist for Tesla Motors urged them to rally against a bill that would prevent the carmaker from opening new sales offices in the state.... Read More »

Tesla direct sales bill moves forward in Arizona

4:13 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2014
An Arizona Senate committee has pushed forward a bill that would let electric-vehicle maker Tesla Motors sell its cars directly to consumers.... Read More »

Tesla may be forced to shut N.J. stores after state commission vote

12:22 pm U.S. ET | March 11, 2014
Tesla may have to shut down its factory-owned stores in New Jersey starting April 1 after the state's motor vehicle commission on Tuesday adopted new rules on dealership licensing.... Read More »

SPLIT DECISION FOR TESLA?

Latest battles in states likely to yield mixed results for Tesla

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 3, 2014
A new round of state legislative battles between Tesla Motors Inc. and dealers looks like a draw so far.... Read More »

INTERACTIVE

Tesla's state-by-state battle with dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 1, 2014
A breakdown of where states with Tesla storefronts stand on the issue.... Read More »

Ohio dealers launch new front in anti-Tesla battle

12:41 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 13, 2014
Ohio auto dealers are renewing their bid to block Tesla Motors' factory store model.... Read More »

TESLA'S NEXT STEP

Audacious growth plans will stretch Tesla beyond its comfort zone

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 13, 2014
In the past year, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors has posted its first quarterly profit, quintupled its stock price, and won a near-perfect score from Consumer Reports for the Model S sedan. Now comes the hard part. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk wants the company's estimated 2013 U.S.... Read More »

COMING MONDAY

Tesla faces toughest challenge yet to meet expansion goals

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 11, 2014
Tesla Motors, on a roll this past year with its highly praised Model S electric vehicle, faces its hardest challenge is yet to come: achieving CEO Elon Musk's bold goal of increasing the company's estimated 2013 volume of 20,000 units to 250,000 in the United States -- and to 500,000 globally -- by the end of the decade.... Read More »

Tesla retail model faces new legal challenge in Ohio

3:56 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 19, 2013
Ohio new-car dealers aren't giving up in their fight with Tesla. After a dealership licensing amendment to block Tesla from selling vehicles in the state wasn't taken up by state legislators earlier this month, dealers are now suing several parties to have Tesla's retail license nullified, a newspaper reported today.... Read More »

Tesla's plan to sell in Ohio dodges bullet

5:38 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 4, 2013
Tesla's business model appears safe in Ohio -- for now. The state's House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee didn't vote on a licensing amendment Tuesday that Tesla Motors Inc. says would prevent it from selling vehicles in Ohio.... Read More »

MUSK V. DEALERS

State battles yield mixed results. A federal approach might be next.

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 9, 2013
After mixed results in a flurry of state-level battles with dealers over its direct-selling model, Tesla Motors is pondering whether to take the fight to Washington. The rest of the auto industry intently awaits Tesla's decision.... Read More »

Tesla loses its battle to sell directly in Texas

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 3, 2013
The showdown between Tesla and Texas dealers is over -- for now -- with Tesla founder Elon Musk suffering his second straight setback in his fight to sell electric cars directly to consumers.... Read More »

Tesla falters in Texas; N.C. fight goes on

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 13, 2013
Elon Musk has two weeks to convince Texas legislators that he deserves an exemption to current state law that would allow him to sell his Tesla electric vehicles directly to consumers. It will be a long shot.... Read More »

Tesla store license rejected by Virginia

4:28 pm U.S. ET | April 23, 2013
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has rejected Tesla Motors' bid for a dealership license. In a ruling issued Monday, Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb turned down Tesla's request, which dates back to March 16, 2012.... Read More »

AMY WILSON

Dislike dealer franchise laws? There's a White House sign-up sheet

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 21, 2013
Just a day after Monday's Automotive News report that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk will consider federal options in his fight with dealers over his factory-store sales model, a petition popped up on a White House Web site urging the Obama administration to overturn state franchise laws.... Read More »

Tesla's Musk: I'll take store fight federal

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
If Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk can't win against dealers at the state level, he will make a federal case of his bid to sell electric vehicles directly to the public through factory stores.... Read More »

Q&A

Musk: Why franchised dealers are wrong retail route for EVs

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
After testifying last week before Texas legislators, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talked in depth with Automotive News about his reluctance to use franchised dealers. The following is an excerpt of the interview with Automotive News reporter Amy Wilson:... Read More »

Musk: Franchises are wrong route for electric vehicles

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
After testifying last week before Texas legislators, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talked about his reluctance to use franchised dealerships to sell his electric vehicles.... Read More »

Tesla wins N.Y. verdict; lobbying continues in Texas

6:12 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2013
Tesla Motors has won a round in its legal fight against franchised dealership laws in New York over direct sales to consumers while it continues to lobby Texas legislators on the issue.... Read More »

8 states in Tesla's growth plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2013
Tesla Motors aims to add stores and service centers in at least eight more states: Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Missouri, Nevada, Georgia, Hawaii and Virginia.... Read More »

Tesla takes on Texas in latest franchise law battle

3:45 pm U.S. ET | March 29, 2013
In its latest battle with state dealer associations, electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors is trying to change existing franchise laws in Texas.... Read More »

HARDBALL

Tesla plays hardball

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 18, 2013
As dealers in some states try to tighten franchise laws to block factory-owned dealerships, Tesla is aggressively lobbying policymakers, reaching out to fans to foster public support and even countering with its own franchise law proposals.... Read More »

Minn. dealers back bid to block Tesla-owned stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 11, 2013
Tesla Motors' plan to sell cars in Minnesota is in jeopardy because of legislation urged by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association.... Read More »

Tesla's Musk thanks Minn. legislators for stalling franchise law rewrite

4:09 pm U.S. ET | March 8, 2013
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is thanking Minnesota lawmakers who blocked legislation that would prevent the electric vehicle maker from opening stores in that state. But the legislative tussle is far from over.... Read More »

Tesla opposes Minnesota legislation that would block its stores

4:04 pm U.S. ET | March 6, 2013
Tesla Motors is trying to amend Minnesota legislation that would block it from opening stores and service centers in the state.... Read More »

Mass. dealers lose fight to block Tesla stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2013
Winning a court appeal or intervention by the attorney general may be the last hopes for Massachusetts dealers trying to block Tesla Motors Inc.'s retail stores.... Read More »

Dealers' lawsuit against Tesla in Mass. dismissed by judge

6:30 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Dealers trying to block Tesla's retail stores in Massachusetts lost another round this week when a judge dismissed their lawsuit against the electric vehicle maker. In a ruling issued Monday, Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman said the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and other plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.... Read More »

Tesla wins license; dealers fight on

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2012
When Tesla Motors Inc. won a dealer license in suburban Boston last week, it was the second blow for Massachusetts dealers who call the electric vehicle maker's retail stores illegal.... Read More »

Tesla wins license to sell cars near Boston

3:55 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2012
Tesla Motors will soon be taking purchase reservations at a suburban Boston store after municipal officials approved a dealer license for the company.... Read More »

NADA, Tesla talk about retail model

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 10, 2012
Leaders at Tesla Motors Inc. and the National Automobile Dealers Association met late last month to discuss the trade association's concerns about Tesla factory stores.... Read More »

Tesla store decision in Mass. rests in judge's hands

3:48 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 26, 2012
A Massachusetts judge is considering whether to allow a Tesla Motors store in suburban Boston to continue normal operations. No decision was issued immediately after a hearing held Thursday on a request for preliminary injunction by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and some dealers.... Read More »

NADA seeks Tesla meeting to discuss retail store plans

8:04 am U.S. ET | Oct. 24, 2012
The National Automobile Dealers Association is seeking to meet with electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. about its retail network plans. Tesla, the maker of the Model S, is defending its retailing strategy against lawsuits by state auto dealer groups.... Read More »

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk defends retail strategy

4:12 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2012
Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk is defending the electric vehicle maker's retail strategy from charges that it runs afoul of state laws. Dealers in Massachusetts and New York sued Tesla last week to shut down company-owned stores they claim violate state franchise laws and consumer protection laws.... Read More »

Dealers sue Tesla in Mass., N.Y.

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2012
When dealer association executives meet in Chicago this week, Tesla Motors' retail strategy will be top of mind. The Automotive Trade Association Executives' legislative conference comes a week after two of its members -- associations in Massachusetts and New York -- sued to shut down Tesla stores they say are operating illegally in their states.... Read More »

Dealers sue Tesla in Mass., N.Y., to block company stores

3:41 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2012
Dealers in Massachusetts and New York are suing to shut down Tesla Motors stores they say run afoul of franchise laws and consumer protection measures in their states.... Read More »

GUEST COMMENTARY

Tesla challenges independent dealer network

11:17 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Tesla has opened "showrooms" around the country to market its sleek electric cars. Dealer associations counter that this practice still violates franchising laws, opens the door to unfair competition and sets up Tesla customers for costly failures, contaminating an otherwise competitive and consumer-friendly marketplace.... Read More »

Dealers call Tesla factory stores illegal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2012
After opening several stores without much pushback, Elon Musk's ambition to replicate the Apple experience in Tesla factory stores is now facing potential roadblocks. Dealer associations in a handful of states, and state regulators in at least one case, say Tesla's stores violate state franchise laws that prohibit factory ownership of dealerships.... Read More »

At the mall, Tesla staffers can meet, greet, tell -- but not sell

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2012
In Texas, manufacturers are prohibited from selling directly to consumers. So what is Tesla doing with a retail store in the Galleria shopping mall in Houston? On-site employees will do everything but sell the car.... Read More »

Tesla puts its factory-store ideas to the test

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2012
While some auto executives talk about modeling their franchised dealerships after the Apple Store, Tesla Motors will try it. That's because the fledgling EV maker is keeping its retail operations in-house, just like Apple.... Read More »

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