The State of Michigan denies allegations that it is unfairly or unconstitutionally prevented Tesla from operating
Published By: Angela Campbell on December 17, 2016 07:31 am EST
In September, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) sued the State of Michigan, taking its key officials Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General to court over the direct sales matter. Now the lawsuit gradually heating up as the officials are denying allegations that they have treated the automaker unconstitutionally or unfairly in the state, according to Detroit News.
The state says that Tesla’s interpretation of the state dealership law is “incorrect” and refuse that an amendment to the law in 2014 was not unfairly instituted to prevent the company’s operations. It was not even allowed to sell vehicles directly to customers even before the provision, which was openly known as the “anti-Tesla bill,” under the state which was formed in 2000.
Conversely, Tesla argues that the “only conceivable reason” for the legislation is “to reward the dealers’ generous lobbying efforts by handing them a monopoly,” singling out General Motors for supporting the amendment.
Though, the state urges that the officials have not “violated any of plaintiff’s constitutional rights, or any rights whatsoever.” Interestingly, it claims that the automaker “has sought the ability to directly sell its vehicles in Michigan but only licenses to operate dealership,” even after banning Tesla for doing so and repeatedly asking it to go through a franchise dealer.
Tesla told Detroit New that Tesla is willing to work with the officials to start serving its customers in the state “as soon as possible” if they allow the company to use their own sales, service, and distribution approach.
The new comes short after the automaker arrival into Michigan on the back of Nordstrom partnership, opening a gallery at Somerset Collection mall in Troy. It marks Tesla’s first foray into the state, allowing customers to seek education and just look at the all-electric premium SUV, the Model X, at the location. Though, they can only place order for a Tesla online through its website.
Speaking at the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Detroit, Michigan Governor Rick Synder said that the state is open to work with Tesla “in some fashion,” implying that if the automaker is willing to accept their demand. On the same platform, Tesla VP of Business Development, Diarmuid O’Connell called the governor’s offer a “wonderful and empty gesture,” citing an unknown Michigan official saying that Tesla cannot operate in the state because automakers and car dealers don’t want them to.