Image: Robyn Beck/AFP
Tesla won another battle as it gets approval from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner to open three new stores in Virginia. Despite the negative stance of the Virginia Automobiles Dealers Association (VADA), consumers will now have free access to buy whatever cars they want, as well as the opportunity to create clean energy jobs.
Tesla has received DMV approval for its plans to open three new stores in Virginia, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The manufacturer submitted an application earlier this year and planned to open three new locations in Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Arlington areas. On July 27, Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said Tesla has the right under state law to open these stores.
On July 29, as expected, there was a reaction from VADA, an influential trade group of independent dealers. Tesla has already faced similar reactions in other states in the US, as the company's direct sales model precludes dealers from earning income from the sale of its cars. The VADA president condemned the DMV ruling, although he said the group was not planning a trial.
Holcomb said “members of the public and public officials,” in the Charlottesville, Arlington, and Norfolk areas have expressed support for the Tesla stores, so opposition of VADA is further weakened. “Much of that support revolves around the fact that Tesla’s business model is unique and outside the traditional model of motor vehicle dealerships in Virginia,” he wrote in the decision.
In an effort to make a decision for the benefit of citizens, Holcomb wrote that if Tesla were precluded from opening the stores, “prospective and existing Tesla customers would need to travel great distances to the stores located in Fairfax or Richmond...or Raleigh, N.C. Traveling such distances is certainly not in the interest of the retail motor vehicle buyer.”
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