Yesterday, at a gathering for automotive industry insiders in Traverse City, Michigan, Tesla Motors used the opportunity to assure the media that the company is “fighting hard” to bring sales and service to Michigan – whatever form that might take.
Michigan was one of a number of states which passed legislation either limiting, or outright banning, Tesla Motors’ direct-to-consumer sales approach. Governor Rick Snyder passed the legislation with the support of rival automakers like General Motors and Ford.
The Detroit News reported on the recent revelations, quoting Tesla Motors VP of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell as saying: “We’ve got a rabid fan base here who are buying cars everywhere else in the U.S. and bringing them here, having them drop shipped here.
“We can’t even have service here, which is incredible. It’s just incredible that in a free market of this sort and in a car culture like Michigan that we’re being held at a distance.”
O’Connell went on to describe how a compromise with the state of Michigan might be reached: “A solution that has worked in other states, where there has been a concern amongst the dealers or GM that we were going to change the world by selling directly, is that we get allowance to open a certain number of stores,” he said. According to O’Connell, Tesla Motors would be happy to accept an allowance of more than five, and less than ten, stores in the Great Lakes State.