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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla retail store business model seen as threat to conventional car dealerships.

Tesla Collides with Minnesota Car Dealers

Having won the ability to sell its cars through its retail-store business model in Massachusetts, Tesla now finds itself in similar legal tussle with the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association.

Published: 13-Mar-2013

A messy, behind-the-scenes battle is underway in Minnesota over the way the electric car and its gas-powered adversaries are sold.

Tesla Motors, the California-based electric car manufacturer, said Tuesday that for the first time it will sell its cars directly to Minnesota consumers through a retail store in Edina slated to open in August, bypassing traditional car dealerships. A Mall of America store is scheduled to open in 2014.

But Tesla’s pending arrival has outraged the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association, which has threatened to sue over the company’s plans. The group already fought a losing battle in the Minnesota Legislature last week when it tried to strengthen the state’s 1970s dealership law to prevent Tesla and other car manufacturers from selling cars directly to consumers.

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