Tesla Missouri Dealer License Renewal Rejected, Stores Closed

Tesla’s stores in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri closed when its license to sell cars expired on New Year’s eve after a circuit judge’s ruling.

This comes after Tesla lost a court battle in August with the Missouri Auto Dealers Association (MADA) when Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green ruled that Tesla’s direct-to-consumer model violates the state’s auto dealer franchise law.

In his August ruling Judge Green wrote that “a single entity may not manufacture vehicles for sale in Missouri and possess a Missouri new motor vehicle dealer license,” under state law.

Last Wednesday, the judge denied Tesla’s motion to stay or temporarily halt the judgement while the ruling is appealed.

SEE ALSO: Michigan Says No to Tesla, Dealer License Denied

It is expected that the state’s Court of Appeals will approve or deny Tesla’s right to sell its electric vehicles in company owned and operated in the next couple of months.

Tesla has been selling cars in the state since 2015 when the Department of Motor Vehicles issued a dealer license.

It is unknown what Tesla might do if it is unable to secure a new license. It could convert the stores to “galleries” where employees don’t sell vehicles, but rather educate consumers about the vehicle lineup and sales are made online.

Tesla has been embroiled in legal fights to sell its cars directly to customers in several states, and has struggled to obtain a dealership license in Connecticut, Michigan, Texas and Utah.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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