It’s no secret that traditional car dealerships aren’t fans of Tesla for selling cars directly to consumers — we’ve seen quite a tussle in other states like New Jersey already, among other states — where officials have considered legislation banning direct sales. And now a group representing about 500 dealerships in Georgia wants the state to revoke Tesla’s license to sell there, too, because it’s sold too many cars already.
The Georgia Automobile Dealers Association filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Revenue last week, reports CNNMoney, claiming that Tesla is illegally selling cars, as it’s sold 173 cars at its one retail store in the state. That’s more than the 150 it’s allowed under state law, the group alleges.
It wants the state to revoke Tesla’s license, and block sales of the Tesla’s Model S sedan at the Marietta, Ga. store, about 25 miles from Atlanta.
Georgia loves electric cars, heck, the state even offers a tax credit that encourages drivers to invest in alternative fuel vehicles. But Tesla is getting too large of a chunk, the dealers say.
“There’s real demand for electric cars in Georgia. All we’re asking is that Tesla sell cars in compliance with the law,” said a spokesman for the dealers group.
The Department says the complaint is under review.
A Tesla spokesperson tells Consumerist:
Tesla has been and remains in full compliance with all Georgia laws in the opening and operation of its retail operations in that state. The petition filed by the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to stifle new innovation and eliminate consumer choice by trying to establish a monopoly that restricts the way consumers can buy new vehicles. As with similar battles in other states, Tesla will use all means necessary to defend itself and the rights of consumers to decide how and where they spend their hard-earned money.
Tesla is currently barred from selling directly to consumers in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Arizona, and is restricted to simply having showrooms where customers can check out the cars but not actually buy them. Instead, they go online or call Tesla to have them shipped.
In many states, the battle to allow those sales is still ongoing, with the support of the Federal Trade Commission, which said consumers should be allowed the choice of buying directly from a carmaker like Tesla.
Tesla’s latest battleground state: Georgia [CNNMoney]