US: Tesla’s direct sales allowed by Massachusetts top court image

The highest court in the US state of Massachusetts has ruled yesterday against a lawsuit coming from franchised dealerships seeking to ban the electric automaker’s practice of selling its own cars.

Now, Tesla can sell its electric premium cars – the Model S sedan and starting with 2015 the Model X crossover – directly to customers in the state, thus continuing to bypass traditional US dealerships.

Justice Margot Botsford said the law “was intended and understood only to prohibit manufacturer-owned dealerships when, unlike Tesla, the manufacturer already had an affiliated dealer or dealers in Massachusetts. “Contrary to the plaintiffs’ assertion,” she added, “the type of competitive injury they describe between unaffiliated entities is not within the statute’s area of concern.”

The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and two dealers move to block Tesla from selling cars in the state was refuted by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court unanimously.

Massachusetts is not the only state to overthrow previous sales blocks against Tesla: New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission back in March stopped the automaker from operating two stores there, but in June the state’s General Assembly passed legislation allowing sales to resume. Nevada – the state that won the bid to get Tesla’s battery gigafactory – also passed an arrangement to allow the carmaker to sell directly its cars as part of a $1.3 billion incentives plan.

Via Reuters