Missouri car dealers sue state for Tesla's direct sales

2 years 5 months 3 days ago January 22, 2015 Jan 22, 2015 Thursday, January 22 2015 Thursday, January 22, 2015 5:22:00 PM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association is suing the state revenue department for allowing an electric car maker to sell directly to customers.

The car dealers filed a lawsuit Thursday in Cole County Circuit Court claiming Missouri violated state law by licensing California-based Tesla Motors as a franchise. That gives the electric car manufacturer the power to sell cars to customers instead of working through a dealership.

Department of Revenue spokeswoman Michelle Gleba says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit claims the department is giving Tesla special privileges. Tesla says the claims are groundless and called the lawsuit an attempt to decrease competition.

Tesla has come under fire before. Lawmakers proposed failed legislation last year that would have banned Tesla from selling vehicles directly to consumers.

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