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Published on May 9th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Missouri Attempts To Pass Sneaky Anti-Tesla Law

tesla-test-drive-2

The scumbags that make up the car dealership lobby are at it again, this time sneaking a language into an unrelated Missouri bill that would ban Tesla’s direct sales model. There has been no public debate about this bill, and it’s already been passed by the Missouri state Senate, leaving little time for Tesla to mobilize its troops.

Missouri legislators added language to bill HB 1124, a bill originally pertaining to off-road and all-terrain vehicles, that would force car buyers to get their cars through a dealership, rather than through Tesla. Currently, Missouri law only prevents automakers with established dealer franchises from directly selling their cars, but the new language would make Tesla’s direct sales model illegal. Tesla currently operates a single store and service center in St. Louis, but planned to open a second one in Kansas City soon. That could all soon be in jeopardy.

HB 1124 originally passed the Missouri House of Representatives without the language, which was only added at the last minute on the Senate side, where it also passed.  There has been no public debate on this law, and the fact that the dealer lobby thinks they could just slip the law in at the last minute without anyone noticing is really drives home the point that this is a group of arrogant, protectionist assholes.

Why is it only Republican-led states like New Jersey and Texas that seem to have a problem with Tesla’s innovative sales problem? Because car dealers know they’re hated, and they know their long-protected monopoly over car sales is under serious threat. People are desperate for an alternative to dealing with slimy sales people who will say or do anything to make their commission. Even members of the Federal Trade Commission (albeit unofficially) have weighed in on the issue, putting into writing what we’re all thinking.

If the car dealership model really is better than Tesla’s direct sales, prove it out in the open, instead of operating in the shadowy halls of state legislatures. Missouri’s anti-Tesla law still has to be re-signed by the House, and Governor Jay Nixon before it becomes law, so this battle is far from over. Now that the attention of EV enthusiasts across the world are focused on Missouri, those shady car dealers may be forced to slink back into the shadows from whence they came.

Source: Tesla Motors




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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Jim Smith

    Republicans, contrary to their propaganda, really do love big government. This is yet another case and point of Republicans increasing the scope of government and using government to pick winners and losers. As this article so eloquently points out:

    “If the car dealership model really is better than Tesla’s direct sales, prove it out in the open, instead of operating in the shadowy halls of state legislatures.”

    • Burnerjack

      I suspect ALL politicians love big government. Bigger budgets, more room for their friends and families. If the dealers want a “level playing field”, let’s just make direct sales possible for every manufacturer? Too ‘consumer friendly’?

  • CMCNestT .

    Democratic Assholes in New York, including Democratic Asshole Gov Andrew Cuomo tried to ban Tesla.
    Missouri Gov Jay Nixon is also a democrat.

  • Liz G

    Tesla Owners and Enthusiasts in Missouri are not taking this lying down.

    Tesla Owners to Converge on Jefferson City Monday in
    Opposition of Anti-Tesla Bill HB 1124

    Monday morning, May 12th, members of the St.
    Louis Tesla Enthusiasts Group will be descending on Jefferson City to show
    their displeasure with an anti-Tesla amendment added to HB 1124 by State Sen.
    Mike Kehoe (a former dealership owner) and State Sen. Wasson.

    If the bill passes with this amendment
    attached it would require Tesla to sell its electric cars through a dealer,
    which is against Tesla’s current policy. Passage of this bill would also result
    in the closing of the St. Louis Service center costing 15 hardworking
    Missourians their jobs and requiring current Tesla owners to travel to Chicago
    for servicing. Missourians would still be able to purchase the car online but
    they would no longer be able to get test drives in the state.

    Members of the St. Louis Tesla Enthusiasts group and their
    supporters will be in Jefferson City Monday hoping to speak with state
    representatives. They will also make themselves and their cars available to the
    public to answer questions about what it’s like to own an all-electric car and
    will be offering test rides to any lawmakers or members of the press
    interested.

    Thank you,

    The St. Louis Tesla Enthusiasts

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