Tesla to Seek Change in Texas Franchise Law, Again

The maker of all-electric cars and SUVs said it expects a bill to be filed soon in the Texas Legislature.


Tesla Motors said it’s not giving up on trying to change the Texas franchise dealer laws, coming back to this year’s legislative session for its third attempt to get the rules altered.

Texas law prohibits direct auto sales to the public in the state without going through a dealership, and according to a report in Crain’s Dallas, Tesla said the company expects a bill to be filed soon.

“We continue to advocate for the ability for Texans to access our product without having to go through a middleman,” Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development at Tesla, told Crain’s. “We’ve been working in the field with a grassroots approach talking to Texans since the end of the last session.”

“We’ve been working in the field with a grassroots approach talking to Texans since the end of the last session.”
Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla executive

The Texas Legislatures meets every two years.

The law allows companies such as Tesla to set up showrooms such as those at North Park Center in Dallas and at University Park Village in Fort Worth, but Tesla staff is limited as to what they can say about the actual purchase of a vehicle.

Most states allow Tesla to sell its electric-powered cars and SUVs directly to customers, Crain’s said.

The gallery approach to showing vehicles in spreading, with Lincoln planning a gallery in Southlake.

For Lincoln, the approach is an alternative to a traditional showroom.

“What we really wanted to do was engage people into the Lincoln brand in a way that’s not traditional,” Andrew Frick, Lincoln’s director of sales and service operations, told Dallas Innovates. “We’re going to meet people where they actually live, work, and dine.”Lincoln said 

Tesla is considering a third gallery in Southlake Town Square across from the Apple Store.

Previously, the Texas Auto Dealers Association has fought a change in the law, fearing it could harm the association’s members.

Additional reading:

Lincoln, Tesla Meet Customers Where They ‘Live, Work, & Dine’

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