News Link • Business/ Commerce

Tesla Fight Erupts in Georgia as Dealers Seek Sales Ban

• By Alan Ohnsman and Margaret Newkirk

Tesla sells vehicles in violation of the state's rules limiting the annual volume of cars it can sell directly to the public, the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association said in a petition filed with the Georgia Department of Revenue.

The group, which represents 500 dealerships, asked that Tesla's license be revoked and the agency block sales of Tesla's Model S sedan at its shop in Marietta, near Atlanta.

The new dispute follows similar spats this year with dealers in Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Elon Musk, Tesla's co-founder and chief executive officer, has said the unique nature of the Model S, priced from $71,000, and electric cars generally, are best sold through the company's stores and staff.

The carmaker's license in Georgia allows it only to sell vehicles made "in accordance with custom design specifications of the customer" and retail fewer than 150 a year, the group said in the petition. Tesla sold 173 sedans at its suburban Atlanta outlet, its only store in the state, from October to June, according to the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News from the revenue department.

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