Though Tesla is applying for a car dealership license with the State of Michigan, the company has no plans to begin franchising dealerships in the state, the company says in a statement.
Yesterday, it was reported that Tesla had applied with the Michigan Secretary of State for a "Class A" license to "buy and sell new vehicles under a franchise agreement or a contract with a new vehicle manufacturer." That would be fine, except Tesla is the manufacturer of the vehicles in question.
Naturally, this raised questions about if Tesla was looking to franchise its own dealerships, but the company says that's not the case. Instead, Tesla is merely looking to confirm that Michigan won't approve its license application to open its own dealership.
tesla will review "any options available" to overturn the law
"As recently amended, current Michigan law prohibits Tesla from being able to license its own sales and service operations in the state. Submission of the application is intended to seek the Secretary of State’s confirmation of this prohibition," said a Tesla spokesperson in a statement. "Once confirmed, Tesla will review any options available to the Company to overturn this anti-consumer law."
It's not clear what options Tesla might have to overturn the law, whether that's a legal challenge or lobbying efforts with the state legislature, but in the meantime Michigan Tesla buyers will need to head to one of the company's dealerships in neighboring Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio to buy a Model S or X and get it serviced.