Native Texans will tell you that on every odd-numbered year, the stalwart Texas Legislature convenes to do what they do best: fail to really accomplish anything at all. Tesla learned that the hard way this week, as the 2013 legislative session ended without a vote on the bills they supported.
You'll recall that Tesla, which sells their cars directly to customers, have had a rough go of things lately in that regard. Most dealers feel threatened by Tesla's eliminate-the-middleman model and have used their considerable political clout to try and squeeze them out in several states, including Texas and North Carolina.
Currently, Tesla has stores in Austin and Houston, but you can't buy cars there. Sales are handled directly by the factory in California, and the staff can't engage in any sales activities. Makes sense, right? Of course it doesn't.
So during this session, Tesla got two bills introduced in the State House and Senate that would permit them to sell their cars directly. Unfortunately, as Reuters reports, the regular session ended Monday without a vote on either bill.
No word on whether the bills will be re-introduced during the next session in 2015. They faced considerable opposition from the Texas Automobile Dealers Association, although prominent Houston dealer Sterling McCall came out in support of Tesla.
So has Jalopnik. It's awfully hard to buy the dealers' argument that they exist to protect consumers, and why shouldn't a supposedly pro-free market state like Texas allow the company to sell their products however they choose?
But that's up to the Legislature, and getting things done has never really been their strong suit. Better luck in another state or in 2015, Elon.
Photo credit AP