Tesla continues to see setbacks in various states as its direct sales model has been blocked. The most recent example is the signing of a bill in Michigan that means Tesla can no longer operate within its borders. Regardless of personal feelings about free market value and overreaching government actions, Tesla still is a brand that is offered in only select portions of the United States.
With the pressure mounting for Tesla to expand into as many areas as possible, adding to its share of the automotive market, it seems that the company might be considering a change in course. Don’t expect Tesla to stop selling cars directly, but Elon Musk has revealed that he is considering incorporating franchised dealers into the company’s distribution model.
The news came about via Autoline, with Musk saying that franchised dealers would be added to complement the current stores the automaker runs itself. While being shut out of certain states certainly is a factor, Musk also hinted that the biggest reason for the hybrid distribution model is to accommodate the coming surge in production, thanks to the future Gigafactory and Model 3.
Most people don’t remember that back when Tesla started up its stores, which are often located in malls and feel nothing like a dealership, it did so for a specific set of reasons. The biggest driving force was that the automaker felt it needed to really educate potential owners about electric drivetrain technology and what life is like owning an electric vehicle. Considering that a growing portion of the public knows more about these subjects, the stores could become less necessary.
Up until now, Musk has felt that traditional car dealers see electric vehicles as a burden, leading to lower sales and a less satisfactory shopping experience, things that have been backed up by recent research. Now that times are changing, it might be only a few short years before you can purchase a Tesla in Michigan, Texas, Arizona and other states where it isn’t possible now.