A group of automobile dealers represented by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association attempted to block Tesla Motors from opening their own stores. They consider Tesla Motors’ method of exclusively selling automobiles online through factory-owned Tesla Motors stores “highly threatening” to the lock that they have on automobile sales. Despite their best efforts though, their bill banning Tesla stores was defeated…for now.
The effort was in the form of a bill, but it was defeated in the Minnesota senate. It was an amendment to ban automobile manufacturers from opening their own dealerships, under any circumstances. Many states have similar laws, and Tesla has also fought (and won) this same battle in Massachusetts.
Most state laws in the U.S prohibit manufacturers from opening dealerships that compete with others which sell the same cars. Tesla Motors, though, has no franchised dealers, so they say they are complying with all state laws governing car sales.
The senate did not approve the bill. However the state Assembly is holding on its own version of the bill, though Elon Musk has also written a spirited defense of Tesla’s business practices. So this battle is far from over.