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Tesla Dealership Barred in Salt Lake City

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March 11, 2015—A new Tesla dealership that was scheduled to open in Salt Lake City last week has postponed its ribbon-cutting after the office of the attorney general denied the electric auto manufacturer a license to sell its products in Utah, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah’s House of Representatives also killed a bill attempting to change the law on Monday.

Current law in Utah stipulates that auto manufacturers are not allowed to own and operate dealerships in the state. Currently, third-party franchisees must do the distributing.

Tesla generally engages in direct-to-customer online sales, but often operates showrooms to allow customers to test drive the vehicles, then buy them online.

According to the report, the bill preventing Tesla to open a showroom was put in place as a measure to protect current auto dealers in the state from being usurped by new manufacturer-owned dealerships.

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