Tesla: Missouri Car Dealers Allegedly Working To Bar It From Operating

Today Tesla Motors issued a blog post titled “Trouble in Missouri” that sounds remarkably like one post then another it wrote in March about New Jersey issues, and actually invokes that on-going war of wills happening there.

The Missouri-related post today outlines concerns where that state’s car dealer lobby allegedly orchestrated an “extraordinary final-hour maneuver [that] amounts to a sneak attack” which would effectively bar Tesla’s factory businesses from freely operating.

“This change is not an innocent, minor amendment,” wrote Tesla of pending legislation. “It is completely unrelated to the original bill, which was about laws regarding all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility vehicles. It is also a complete 180 from what the original bill proposed.”

The change in question is to HB 1124, says Tesla, which it says has been in circulation since December 2013.

“It was passed by the House on April 17 without the anti-Tesla language,” wrote Tesla. “Last night, the bill with the new anti-Tesla language passed the Senate after zero public consultation and is soon moving to the House floor for a final vote, essentially without debate.”

Tesla said debate should be “in the light of day” but alleged maneuvering would effectively stop Tesla.

“In the last week before Missouri’s legislature ends its current session, dealers proposed new language in an existing bill that would force Missouri consumers to purchase new vehicles only through middleman franchised dealers,” wrote Tesla.

Tesla says it has invested $2 million in the state thus far, and has 15 employees, and a Saint Louis service center with plans for a larger Kansas City, Mo. service center this year.

Tesla’s full post can be seen here. It is urging supporters contact their legislators.

For a deeper look at these ongoing issues, see also Tesla vs. The Auto Franchising System.