While Tesla Motors has been making gains in some parts of the country, the fact is that consumers still buy the Model S or the upcoming Model X in states such as Texas. The American electric car company is going to have to wait another two years before attempting to make inroads in the Lone Star state, thanks to a pair of defeats in the legislature.
Tesla threw its support behind two bills that would’ve made it possible for the automaker to use its direct sales model in Texas. Both the Senate and House of Representatives didn’t even allow the bills to progress to a vote, killing them.
It’s not that Tesla didn’t try to get the bills through. The company reportedly spent $150,000 in lobbying efforts. CEO Elon Musk also toured through Austin, Texas back in January and campaigned in other parts of the state.
Auto dealers in Texas fought back with their vast resources, putting up a fight that Tesla simply couldn’t win. It’s another win for dealerships, considering that Texas is the second-largest market in the nation. The loss stings for Tesla, which lately has had a number of doors slammed in its face. Despite that fact, it has recently gained access to New Jersey, Georgia and Maryland.
Business Insider reported that Tesla made an interesting threat once it realized that two bills were dead. The vice president of business development said that the company might reconsider a future plan to build an all-electric truck in Texas, considering that it can’t even sell vehicles in the state.
Texas is truck country, so not being able to sell a pickup to the residents would severely hurt the future Tesla model’s chances at market success. For that reason alone, the automaker likely won’t back down from the fight, but instead will reassess its position and strategies before attempting to make another push in 2017.