Ohio Allows Tesla to Operate Third Store, New Jersey Bill May Reverse Ban on Direct Sales

Tesla Motors will be able to open a third dealership in Ohio after reaching an agreement with the state’s auto dealers over a bill that would have blocked the electric car manufacturer’s expansion in the state.

The Senate Finance Committee passed a bill on Tuesday preventing automakers from selling their automobiles directly to customers in Ohio. However, an amendment to the bill lets Tesla to obtain a license for a third store and service center in Ohio. The amendment allows Tesla to continue operations in the state at up to three locations, unless the company is sold or acquired or starts producing motor vehicles other than all-electric cars.

Tesla Motors’ vice president of business development, Diarmuid O’Connell said the amendment is a good compromise for the auto dealers and Tesla, adding that the company’s stores are key to educating consumers about EV technology and building a mass market for electric vehicles.

“We want Ohio to be part of that revolution. So the ability to continue to grow here incrementally is a good thing,” O’Connell told Cleveland.com. Tesla currently has two stores in Ohio, in Cincinnati and Columbus.

New Jersey became the latest state to ban Tesla’s direct sales business model earlier this month, following in the footsteps of Arizona and Texas. However, New Jersey legislators may change their minds and reverse the ban, according to Automotive News.

A New Jersey lawmaker introduced a bill that would allow Tesla to continue selling its EVs directly to consumers, a practice the state banned two weeks ago.

Assemblyman Tim Eustace’s argument is hard to attack. “Because of this new rule, an interested buyer looking for more fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly vehicle options can go look and ask questions about an electric car in New Jersey, but will have to go to Pennsylvania or New York if he or she actually wants to buy the car. How does sending business to other states help New Jersey’s economy?” Eustace asked rhetorically in a statement.

By Dan Mihalascu

Thanks to Atedesco for the tip!



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