Tesla is trying for the third year in a row to have its direct-sales business model approved in Connecticut.
On Thursday last week, the Transportation Committee introduced a bill that clears the regulatory hurdles for the electric automaker to open dealerships in the state. Despite this, legislation still needs to be approved before Tesla can claim a key win for its direct-to-consumer sales approach.
The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association is currently engaged in a court battle with Tesla and claims that the carmaker is illegally selling vehicles from its Greenwich store.
According to the president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association Jim Fleming, “They are illegally selling cars out of that location in Greenwich. They are hardly a startup. They have great political influence. Their CEO, as you know, serves on the new president’s economic council in Washington, D.C. They want to compete with a local car dealer, who is tiny compared to a multinational corporation.”
However, Tesla claims that existing car dealers in the state simply want to protect their monopoly in the state.
While lawmakers want to reopen the debate on Tesla sales in Connecticut, State Senator and co-chairman of the Transportation Committee, Carlo Leone, told the Connecticut Post that he is still undecided on the bill.