Missouri Tesla Sales Continue as House Bill Stalls

Tesla Model S. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. is free for now to continue its direct-to-customer sales in Missouri.

House Bill 1124, requiring car sales in the state to happen through franchised dealerships, went unread in the House before the end of the legislative session Friday. As a result, the company’s gallery and service center in University City near St. Louis remains open, and plans for another location in Kansas City can continue.

Although the bill was not read and did not receive public comment or debate before the general assembly adjourned, the Riverfront Times reports it will be brought back when the new session begins.

House Bill 1124 originally passed the House as legislation pertaining to all-terrain vehicles, but language added to it in the Senate banned new-car sales outside of dealerships—a change that currently would only affect Tesla, the only manufacturer that doesn’t use dealerships. Similar bans already exist in New Jersey, Arizona and Texas. The Missouri Senate passed the bill, sending it back to the House for final approval.

In an email statement to Bloomberg News, Tesla Vice President of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell described the outcome as “a victory for Missouri consumers and for the state’s economy.”

Read more from Bloomberg News and the Riverfront Times

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