The governor of Pennsylvania --Tom Corbett – has inked a bill allowing Tesla Motors Inc. to run up to five stores in the state. It represents another victory for Tesla’s direct sales model that has been opposed by dealer groups all over the United States as it leaves out dealership middleman in the sales process.
A previous version of the Pennsylvania bill provided no cap on the number of stores that Tesla could set up in the state. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an association representing 12 carmakers excluding Tesla, lobbied strongly against that version of the bill, claiming that it would give the EV maker an unfair advantage over traditional carmakers.
However, unlike other dealer associations, the Pennsylvania Automotive Association supported the pro-Tesla legislation once the five-store cap was introduced in the bill. Pennsylvania’s state House passed the legislation 197-2 earlier this month.
The association said the bill cleared up ambiguity on whether Tesla’s direct sales model is legal in Pennsylvania, since while a pre-existing statute bans direct factory sales, Tesla still managed to operate a store in King of Prussia.
Tesla said in a statement that the process in Pennsylvania serves as an example of how productive cooperation can lead to a win-win situation for all parties involved.