Tesla CEO Elon Musk made another push, bumping up his financial support for several Texas state politicians in 2014. But he was unable to outspend local dealers. According to the Texas Tribune, Texas car dealerships outspent Musk 40 to 1 in the 2014 election.
In Texas, Tesla showcases its cars at galleries in the Austin, Dallas and Houston areas, but because the galleries are not franchised dealerships, state law restricts employees at those locations from sharing information about purchasing the vehicles.
Tesla says Texas is one of only five states with such a burdensome process. Though it has been trying to get the dealer-franchise law changed since 2013, Tesla has been outgunned by the auto dealers’ much bigger presence and millions in campaign contributions. That’s in spite of Tesla beefing up its spending on lobbyists last session.
(Bloomberg) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that Tesla Motors Inc. shouldn’t expect to open Lone Star state sales outlets any time soon. Tesla has been trying for two years to crack the nation’s second-largest automobile market.
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Texas car dealers argued that a Tesla exemption would open the door for all manufacturers to monopolize direct sales in Texas, and would pave the path towards certain doom for the franchised dealership industry.
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