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Tesla Wins Direct Sales Fight In Massachusetts

Illustration for article titled Tesla Wins Direct Sales Fight In Massachusetts

As Tesla Motors continues its state-by-state fight for its right to sell cars direct to the consumer, it can mark off the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as another battleground settled in its favor.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ruled in Tesla's favor in a lawsuit filed two years ago by the state's auto dealer association.

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That group claimed Tesla's direct sales method violated existing laws, but the court ruled that the law was designed only to prevent "competition between independent dealers and company-owned stores of the same manufacturer." Since Tesla has no independent franchises, it's not in violation of the law.

As the Journal notes, the decision in Massachusetts could predict the way legal fights in other states could go. New Jersey's franchise law, for example, is structured a similar way, and Tesla currently has a lawsuit challenging a Motor Vehicle Commission decision that revoked their sales license.

Once again, I see this as a win for car buyers as well as Tesla, and I'll say what I've been saying all along: direct sales from a small electric car manufacturer will not spell the end of dealerships, the free market, America, or life on Earth as we know it.

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DISCUSSION

The MA legislature and current Governor will jump in with a law to counter this decision. Any legal decision that helps consumers or potentially reduces tax receipts, is DOA in MA. It will quickly be legislated out of relevance. This one better be, or no one in the State House will be invited to Ernie Jr's parties anymore.