Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed the legislation, which had been approved by the Legislature earlier this month. The new law prohibits vehicle manufacturers from owning, operating or controlling their own dealerships, though it does carve out an exception to that restriction for an existing Tesla outlet in the state. That exception is capped at one location.
Reeves positioned the law as one that would protect Mississippi’s car dealers. “Almost 200 small businesses in communities across our state are seeking assurances that big manufacturers can’t just destroy their businesses. That’s fair!” Reeves wrote Tuesday in a Facebook post after signing House Bill 401. “I also recognize that innovation in this industry is inevitable. And with innovation comes new companies with new business models. I am committed to find long-term solutions — in an ever changing market. I look forward to working with all parties going forward to do just that.”