The court went in Tesla’s favor in a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association.
Two months ago dealer associations from several states and state regulators said that Tesla’s stores violate state franchise laws which don’t allow factory ownership of dealerships. Therefore they tried to get a temporary restraining order and an injunction preventing the automaker from operating a mall display store near Boston.
Currently, Tesla has 17 stores in 10 states and the District of Columbia, most of them located in shopping malls, and it plans to open 6 more. According to the protesting dealer associations, these factory-owned stores are unfair competition for rival dealerships, cannot offer support for customers that need repairs and will soon threaten the franchise system if left unchallenged.
“If a manufacturer sees that Tesla is successful with this kind of business model, who’s to say they don’t break out their own EV product lines and create a separate system that bypasses dealers?” said Bob O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. “It’s extremely problematic.”
On November 16th, Tesla opened its first store in Canada, in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The store offers its customers design studios and interactive displays, allowing people to create their own Tesla Model S on a large touchscreen.