The ongoing legal battle between Tesla Motors and various groups in Michigan concerning the ability of the electric auto manufacturer to sell directly to consumers — thereby bypassing the car dealerships — has taken an interesting new turn.
The company has gone ahead and revealed an assortment of new allies that includes: the Michigan Christian Coalition, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, and the Michigan Moose Association.
“It’s time Michigan recognizes the rapidly evolving market changes impacting the new-car industry,” stated Michigan Christian Coalition Chairman Keith den Hollander (via Wards Automotive). “Consumers want more choices and more convenience. They don’t want to be forced by the government to buy their cars from a certain type of monopoly retailer.”
“Consumers should be able to choose to shop at a Tesla store or at a traditional dealership, depending on their preference and the kind of car they want to buy,” stated Casey Kreiner, chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans.
For some background here, the Michigan legislature created a law that essentially banned auto manufacturers from selling directly to consumers a couple of years back, in a clear swipe at Tesla (and favor ]t8 t]to the car dealership associations).
Teslarati provides more:
Plus, Tesla Motors bought Rivera Tool and Die Company in Michigan late last year and is looking to invest more in the car capital of the US, according to the electric carmaker. For Tesla Motors, the coalition building could be a blueprint for going after other states to open their doors in 2016 and beyond. This could include Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Carolina, Utah, Arizona, and Connecticut, where a libertarian strain runs, at least, on the surface.
…Bottom line, Tesla sees a wounded duck in Governor Rick Snyder and the libertarian streak runs real deep in Michigan. Seeing Tesla Motors in Michigan would be symbolic on many fronts. First and foremost, it could be seen as the US coming out of the protectionist “dark ages” and embracing an alternative (& better) car industry.
It’ll be interesting to see how much headway Tesla can make legally (with regard to the states where direct sales are banned) before the launch of the Model 3. The more legal obstacles that are removed, the higher that initial sales will be — so you can bet that Tesla is aiming to make significant progress ahead of the launch, in order to make more of a statement.