Tesla Motors has finally touched down in Dallas, Texas, but its gallery Northpark Mall cannot offer test drives or discuss pricing or purchasing, no thanks to an existing legislation in the state. This means that prospective buyers in Texas could just take a look at the Model S at the gallery, and if they want to buy one, they need to order online and have the car registered in California.
Then, they can ship and re-register the Model S in Texas within 90 days of its delivery. While direct sales tactics in Texas are disallowed, representatives can talk about the vehicles’ technology.
According to Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson, the galleries have proven to be a powerful tool in marketing its EVs in Texas, since they create strong awareness for the product. She disclosed there are almost 2,000 Tesla cars registered in Texas, with the carmaker having a strong following in the state.
She divulged that some owners of Tesla vehicles in Texas have even been offering test drives. A bill was filed at the Texas Legislature in March 2013, which would have exempted Tesla from the restrictions of franchise laws.
It, however, failed to make it to the state House of Representatives floor by the end of its session. The main opponent of the bill, the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, welcomed Tesla into Dallas.
Robert Braziel, chief executive of legislative affairs for TADA said that the association welcomes anyone “who wants to follow the law and play by the rules like everybody else,” noting that Tesla’s complies with the law.