Tesla has scored a victory in Arizona after a judge ruled that an existing law believed to prohibit auto manufacturers from selling direct to customers did not apply to Tesla.
Tesla pursued and obtained an automotive dealer license – a standard license traditional automotive dealerships are required to hold in order to sell vehicles – from the Arizona Department of Transportation following the ruling.
Tesla previously believed that a supporting law prohibited direct sales to customers even with the dealer license so the clarification from the judge that direct sales would be allowed with a run of the mill automotive dealer license came as quite a relief. The victory came after multiple failed attempts by Tesla to change state law to allow direct sales through the legislative process.
Prior to the ruling and subsequent granting of the dealer license, Tesla was not able to take customers for test drives or discuss pricing or options. As with other sites within the state, interested buyers had to purchase out of state or be referred to Tesla’s website where a vehicle could be purchased online then delivered into the state. The ruling removes the ineffectual barrier to helping customers determine if a Tesla could be in their future with the aid of a test drive and discussion with a salesperson.
The step forward for Tesla in Arizona comes on the heels of failed attempts to enact legislation allowing direct sales to customers in Louisiana, Texas and Connecticut. As with a handful of other embattled states, all signs point to Connecticut coming around in light of new budget cuts that make the prospect of additional income from new Tesla operations and sales in the state a lucrative opportunity.
Tesla has seen a few victories in recent months with Wyoming recently moving to allow direct sales to consumers and Alabama similarly inching towards a more progressive stance.