Court sides with Tesla on stores

Published Nov 22, 2012 at 04:00AM

Tesla, the maker of high-end electric cars, has won its first round in court with auto dealers who have challenged its factory stores as violating state franchise laws.

A judge denied a bid by the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association to get a temporary restraining order and an injunction preventing Tesla from operating a mall display store near Boston, according to Tesla and the association.

Though Tesla sells in low volumes, dealers nationally fear the Palo Alto, Calif., automaker could set a precedent allowing other automakers to sell directly to the public. Currently, about 18,000 new-car dealers nationally get a cut of every one of the 12.8 million new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. last year.

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