Electric car enthusiasts wondering where to buy a Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) Model S sedan can cross another state off their list of locations.
The state of New Jersey announced last week that automakers will no longer be allowed to sell vehicles directly to customers. That brings the list of states that have banned direct Tesla sales to five: Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.
Those states require automakers to sell their vehicles through car dealerships, a process that Tesla refuses to accept. Tesla has always sold its Model S sedans directly to consumers and has no plans to change that sales model.
Tesla still operates "galleries" in each of those states. At a Tesla gallery, customers are able to view Model S sedans and are referred to the company's website, where they can purchase a vehicle online. Gallery employees are unable to answer pricing or purchasing questions from customers.
Currently, the automaker can perform direct sales at its stores and galleries in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
While those 16 states and the District allow sales, some do maintain certain sales restrictions.
For instance, Georgia state legislation only allows for the sale of 150 cars annually. Tesla hopes a pending bill will up that number to 1,500.
In Colorado, one Tesla store was built before new legislation prevented additional stores from being built. Tesla sales will remain limited to that one location in Colorado, for the foreseeable future.
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New York and Ohio both currently allow the sale of Teslas, but are working toward legislation similar to New Jersey's. That would surely infuriate the automaker, which operates five facilities in New York and two in Ohio.
At this time, 29 states are still waiting for their first Tesla store or gallery to open.
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