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Tesla Gets Snubbed Out of Texas

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A 2015 Tesla Model S was also in attendance

Tesla has a big problem – it wants to sell its cars itself, instead of in dealerships like other car brands. However, in many states, this is illegal, due to decades-old laws that require car manufacturers to sell through dealerships. As a result, Tesla has been going on a state-by-state campaign to have these laws overturned.

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Tesla has had some success – this year, the legislatures of Georgia, Maryland, and New Jersey enacted laws allowing Tesla to sell directly to consumers. However, it seems Texas was having none of that noise.

The two Tesla-backed bills that were submitted to the Texas legislature never made it to the House of Representatives or Senate. With the Texas legislature closing in June, Tesla’s bid for this year is over.

In addition, car dealerships are a big deal in Texas, with heavy lobbying power and strong community ties. One car dealership was even influential enough to donate an entire mountain to Travis County – Mount Bonnell.

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The opposition to Tesla was summed up fairly well by Red McCombs, an 87-year-old billionaire founder of an auto dealership in San Antonio, when he said, “It’s kind of a joke to think that somebody’s going to come in here and ride in on a horse that doesn’t use gasoline and change the world. They’re going to have to play by the same rules that the competition plays by.”