Tesla CEO Thanks Lawmakers for Blocking Dealer Legislation

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Tes­la CEO Elon Musk tweet­ed a “thank you” to Min­neso­ta law­mak­ers for block­ing leg­is­la­tion that would pre­vent the lux­u­ry elec­tric car­mak­er from open­ing stores in the state. The state’s Sen­ate com­mit­tee last week was a set­back for the Min­neso­ta Auto­mo­bile Deal­ers Asso­ci­a­tion, which backed the leg­is­la­tion. But the leg­isla­tive bat­tle is far from over.

A Min­neso­ta House bill is still active, and a House com­mit­tee will soon be hear­ing tes­ti­mo­ny on the leg­is­la­tion. The deal­er asso­ci­a­tion is work­ing on get­ting its deal­er mem­bers to con­tact House com­mit­tee mem­bers and urge them to sup­port the association’s posi­tion on the bill. The bill would clar­i­fy the state’s fran­chise law, mak­ing it clear a man­u­fac­tur­er can’t oper­ate a deal­er­ship.

The deal­er asso­ci­a­tion and Tes­la will be tes­ti­fy­ing at next week’s hear­ing. Tes­la is ask­ing for an amend­ment that would allow it to open stores in the state. When the leg­is­la­tion was intro­duced last month, Tes­la was nego­ti­at­ing on loca­tions for a store at the Mall of Amer­i­ca in Bloom­ing­ton, Minn., and for a ser­vice cen­ter in near­by Edi­na. The ser­vice cen­ter is sched­uled to open dur­ing the first half of this year, and the retail store prob­a­bly wouldn’t open until 2014.

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