Not every state is willing to let Tesla sell its vehicles directly, without setting up franchise dealerships. State dealership associations generally lead these charges against the all-electric automaker, and it's happening once again, as a Missouri court rules that Tesla can't keep its direct sales going within the state.
The suit was originally filed in 2015, but only now has it reached a ruling, The St. Louis Business Journal reports. The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association claimed that the state should have never issued Tesla a dealer's license, because the law is set up to prevent manufacturers from competing directly with their dealers. The court reversed the decision, claiming Tesla can't be both franchiser and franchisee, in agreement with the dealers association.
Thus, if anyone in Missouri wants to buy a Tesla, they can't do so at a brick-and-mortar Tesla store. They'll have to order the vehicle online, or follow in the footsteps of folks in other states and cross the border to a different, better state that sells them, like Illinois. (Go Cubs!)
Tesla didn't immediately return a request for comment. The company remains determined to sell its vehicles in all 50 states, and there's a very good chance Tesla will appeal this ruling. In the meantime, MADA can celebrate its victory, because goodness knows so many profitable dealership owners are just champing at the bit to buy up a whole load of $100,000 electric cars and slowly sell them to the few folks who can afford one.