Court says Tesla can reopen Missouri stores during appeals process

Days after Tesla closed the doors to its Kansas City and St. Louis showroom stores, the Missouri Court of Appeals has granted the electric car maker’s motion to stay and reopen all stores within the state while the company goes through the appeals process. The Court of Appeals decision halts a lower court’s judgment that Tesla’s licenses to sell vehicles should not be renewed in 2017.

A Tesla spokesperson commented on today’s ruling, saying “Tesla appreciates the Court of Appeals’ decision to keep our Missouri stores operating,” The California-based electric car maker says that it will reopen its stores as soon as possible. “We are now arranging to reopen our doors and will do so as soon as possible. Again, we regret this temporary inconvenience to our customers.”

Today’s court decision is one of many upbeat announcements made about Tesla. Earlier today, Tesla announced through a press release that the Gigafactory has begun mass production on lithium-ion battery cells to be used on its Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage systems, and the upcoming Model 3 sedan. Wall Street also shrugged off news that Tesla had missed its Q4 delivery numbers, sending the company’s stock up by over 4 percent during normal trading.

Today’s ruling by Missouri’s Court of Appeals is a positive indicator that the state may be loosening its grip on legacy dealer franchise laws that prevents Tesla from selling direct to consumers. Last year, Tesla sued the state of Michigan in federal court claiming its ban on direct sales is unconstitutional. The company is also battling local laws banning direct sales in Utah, North Carolina, and Connecticut, though a Connecticut Superior Court judge recently dismissed a law suit brought last May by the Automotive Retailers Association that attempted to block the company from opening a gallery showroom in the state.


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