Isn't Texas supposed to be for free enterprise? Against red tape?Texas is one of those states where it is actually illegal for an automaker to sell its products directly to its customers. They are forced to go through a dealership network, which is fine for the big, established players, but is a huge barrier to entry for startups like Tesla.
The company lobbied state politicians and a bill that would have cleared the way was submitted to the legislature, but unfortunately it didn't make it to a vote, to the great joy of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, which of course fiercely opposed the bill.
That's very sad, especially in a state that pretends to be more about free enterprise than most. Either a dealership structure adds value to the process of selling cars, in which case a company like Tesla will be disadvantaged without it and the dealerships don't need special protection. Or they don't add value to the process, in which case they don't deserve special treatment...
Since the bill that would allow Tesla to sell EVs directly failed to make it to the floor of the Texas House or Senate for voting before the regular session came to a close on May 27, Tesla won't have another chance before the Legislature meets again in 2015. It's possible that Tesla would try to take the fight to another level (some federal court, maybe?).
Via Automotive News