Nambe, New Mexico (AP) — Automaker Tesla opens its first store and repair shop on Native American land, sells cars directly to consumers, and goes into a long-standing battle to remove car dealers from the process Showed a new approach to.
The white-walled silver-letter Tesla Store, which opened last week, is located on the land of a tribe north of Santa Fe that is not subject to state law in Nambepu Ebro.
Electric vehicle companies are free to sell and service their vehicles in only about 12 states, while facing restrictions in other states. Some, like New Mexico, have banned Tesla from offering sales or repairs without going through a dealer. In January, the company signed a contract with Michigan to settle the 2016 proceedings. This is a symbolic victory that has made it possible to sell in the backyard of the largest car maker in the United States.
Tesla supporters say the New Mexico store is the first time the company has partnered with a tribe to circumvent state law, but the idea has been underway for years.
From Oklahoma to Connecticut and other states, Tesla hasn’t partnered with dealers and hasn’t succeeded in allowing courts and lawmakers to sell models directly, so consumers can’t buy Tesla.
Brian Dear, president of the Tesla Owners Club in New Mexico, said: “I don’t believe this will be the last.”
Proponents say the dealer law protects middle-class work, forces dealers to compete, and lowers prices. Critics say people can get information online and direct sales will reduce costs.
New Mexico, Alabama, and Louisiana have the strictest bans, except that Tesla leaves both dealerships and repair shops. As a result, Tesla repairs are more expensive and tedious. Owners need to travel to a Tesla technician to fix the problem in a neighboring state or in a van to repair the car.
Built on the grounds of a former casino, the New Mexico Tesla Shop is located between two gas stations along the highway about an hour and a half north of Albuquerque, where most of the state’s Tesla owners live.
Sales in the neighboring state of Texas, where the company plans to manufacture pickup trucks next year, are banned, but repair shops are allowed. Owners of Tesla, New Mexico are traveling to El Paso, Texas and other out-of-state cities for repairs.
To buy a Tesla, you’ll have to drive for hours to receive it or pay thousands of dollars to ship it.
Howard Coe, a filmmaker working at the Los Alamos Institute in New Mexico, said: About 30 minutes from Nambe, Mexico, about 5 hours from the nearest Colorado Tesla store.
Kor drove his wife Tesla Sedan to a new store in Nambe on Tuesday and asked if the SUVs he ordered could be delivered there. The store did not accept delivery for the time being and told him that it would not be repaired until later this month.
Tribal officials who mediated the transaction for two years say it is in line with cultural values such as business interests and environmental friendliness.
Carlos Vigil, president of the Nambepu Ebro Development Corporation, called Tesla’s service center “a renewable business in line with our belief system,” and the tribe “for the land we lived in for over 1,000 years.” I am responsible. “
Car dealer supporters say they respect tribal decisions but want customers to buy electric cars from companies that comply with state rules, and dealers compete at low prices and state It claims to be able to serve cars in more regions.
Ken Ortiz, Chairman of the New Mexico Automobile Dealers Association, said: “We contribute to taxes.”
New Mexico has tax treaties with tribes on sales, gambling, and gasoline taxes. However, tribal and state officials say it is unclear whether Tesla will have to pay sales tax on cars or how income will be split between them.
Tesla, which disbanded its public relations department and generally did not respond to media inquiries, did not respond to requests for comment.
In response to a tweet about waiting times in the northeast last month, CEO Elon Musk wrote, “Tesla will help open a service center.”
Attanasio is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues. Follow him on Twitter: https: //twitter.com/viaCedar
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Tesla builds its first store on tribal land to dodge state car law | WGN Radio 720
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