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Michigan could ban direct Tesla sales next week

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Lights out in the home of the 'Big Three'

Tesla has another big hurdle to jump in its effort to sell directly to consumers, this time coming in the form of a bill that awaits the signature of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. House Bill 5606, which originally was focused on curtailing dealership fees, had an amendment added to it which precludes carmakers from direct sales in Michigan, effectively banning Tesla sales in the state. The bill was amended a day before the Michigan Senate voted and passed it almost unanimously, and Governor Snyder has until October 21st to sign it into law now that it's made it through both parts of the state's legislature.

This particular bill is important in both a practical and symbolic way because Michigan (specifically Detroit) is home to the "big three" carmakers, but it is far from the first state in which Tesla has faced a problem like this. Earlier this year the electric car manufacturer was banned outright from selling directly to consumers in New Jersey and also made an agreement with auto dealers not to open any additional locations in Ohio. Other states, including Texas, Arizona, and Virginia already have similar laws in place, and we found out first hand in March just how contentiously some auto dealers view Tesla.

All this means that Tesla will likely have to continue fighting this battle around the country, something the company's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs likened last week to "playing a game of whack-a-mole in every state."


ICYMI: Riding in the Tesla P85D