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Tesla Fights Back Against Direct-to-Consumer Sales Ban

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Tesla Model S (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Tesla Model S (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Tesla, the high-buzz electric car-maker, is urging Missouri lawmakers not to ban its business model.

Tesla doesn’t use dealerships, instead opening its own stores with its own employees.

“The history of electric vehicles is a somewhat tortured one, and they’ve never succeeded in the dealer concept,” says Tesla vice president Diarmuid O’Connell.

Tesla has invested more than $2 million in sales and service facilities in St. Louis, and plans to do the same in Kansas City.

“The critique is that we’re mostly a coastal proposition, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” O’Connell says. “We’ve got strong a strong market throughout the Midwest.”

A proposal in the state House would ban direct-to-consumer car sales.

O’Connell believes the car dealer lobby is behind it.

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