Tesla Dealership Barred in Salt Lake City

March 11, 2015

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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