Tesla Motors is opening up a new gallery store at Dallas? Northpark Mall. Tesla will be opening the doors to its 2,200 square foot gallery today. Unfortunately, the state of Texas has some of the most restrictive auto dealer franchise laws in the country.
Through the legislation, galleries cannot offer test drives or discuss pricing. Consumers in Texas that wish to buy a Tesla vehicle must order it online and have the car registered in California and have it shipped/re-registered in Texas within 90 days of its delivery.
Tesla Motors opened its first Texas gallery in Houston three years ago. Another location was opened in Austin last year. Even though direct sales are not allowed, Tesla representatives can discuss technology. Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said the galleries are a powerful marketing tool.
There are currently 2,000 Tesla vehicles registered in Texas. Tesla owners have been offering test drives to strangers in Texas too!
In March 2013, a bill was introduced to the Texas Legislature that would exempt Tesla from the restrictions on factory-owned dealerships under franchise laws. The proposed legislation failed to make it to the House of Representatives by the end of its session. Legislators are not scheduled to gather again until 2015.
The Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) opposed the 2013 bill and welcomed Tesla to Dallas. ?We certainly welcome anyone to Texas who wants to follow the law and play by the rules like everybody else,? stated Robert Braziel, the CEO of legislative affairs for TADA. ?The gallery complies with the law.?
Tesla Motors may consider Texas for a new battery factory, known as the “Gigafactory.” Texas governor Rick Perry has been attempting to convince Tesla to open the factory there by reviewing or altering the state franchise laws.
Tesla Motors operates 52 stores across 17 states and Canada. It also has galleries in New Jersey, Maryland, and Arizona. Tesla will be opening stores in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Tesla will continue to run its galleries in Texas, but will battle the franchise law again in 2015.
[Stock Tag: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)]