In an expected move, the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association Inc., and other plaintiffs, are appealing a dismissal of the association’s lawsuit against Tesla Motors, Inc.

The dealers brought the suit against Tesla in October 2012 for allegedly violating state franchise law when Tesla opened one of its stores in a Natick, Mass., shopping mall.

Earlier this month Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman dismissed the suit for lack of standing.

Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the dealers association, told Automotive News in an e-mail this week that the association is seeking an appeal because Tesla’s store model is clearly prohibited by Massachusetts’ dealer franchise statute.

“Tesla is spending considerable sums of money across the country in an effort to exploit what they see to be gaps in states’ franchise laws,” O’Koniewski said.

“The law is the law. Follow it,” he said.

Automotive News