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Tesla Can’t Sell Cars in Detroit

But that hasn’t stopped the California company from opening a showroom.

Tags: Electric Vehicles

December 8, 2016

​DETROIT – The Detroit Free Press writes that Tesla Motors has opened a small gallery inside of a Nordstrom store in Troy, even though the company can’t sell cars in the state.

“The automaker appears to be abiding by a Michigan law that restricts sales of vehicles to franchised dealers,” notes the news source, adding that the gallery is the first Tesla location in the state with one vehicle, a Model X, on display. A sign informs shoppers that they can find out more by contacting a Tesla retail store in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

The news source notes that despite lobbying by the state and local dealer associations and some automakers, the Michigan legislature has maintained its position to keep Tesla from selling its vehicles in the state. Michigan law requires Tesla to be a licensed franchise dealer to engage in automotive retailing.

In September, Tesla sued the state of Michigan after Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and an administrative panel denied the company's application for a license to sell cars directly to consumers, writes the news source.

“We’ve always stood up for what Michigan law says," commented Terry Burns, executive director of the Michigan Auto Dealers Association. "It’s very easy to comply with current Michigan law. They could potentially make Nordstrom a dealer. They’re halfway there now.”