Michigan officials are standing firm in denying Tesla Motors’s application for a state automobile dealer license.
“The license was denied because state law explicitly requires a dealer to have a bona fide contract with an auto manufacturer to sell its vehicles,” said Gisgie Gendreau, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, in a statement.
Since Tesla has no such contract, it cannot meet that requirement.
The ruling follows a Sept. 7 hearing in regards to the state’s intention to deny a Tesla dealer’s license.
The battle between the battery electric carmaker and the state began in the fall of 2015 when it applied for a dealership license to open a retail gallery in the city of Grand Rapids.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill banning carmakers from selling vehicles directly to customers in October 2014, legislation that had overwhelming support in both houses.
Previous state law prevented automakers from selling new vehicles directly to retail customers except through its franchised dealers.
The revised 2014 law removed the word “its.”
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Tesla said its 2015 license application was to confirm the “anti-consumer” law.
In February, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow Tesla and other companies to sell vehicles directly to consumers, but it sits stagnate.
The ruling seems to be a message to Tesla that it is not welcome in the state that is home to Ford and General Motors.
Under the Administrative Procedure Act, Tesla may appeal the decision to the Michigan Circuit Court.
A Tesla spokeswoman said the company “will continue to take steps to defend the rights of Michigan consumers,” however declined to say what those steps might be.