Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said his state needs to eliminate "antiquated" rules that are keeping Tesla Motors and other car manufacturers from selling their products directly to the public.
Perry called California-based electric-car company Tesla "a big project" on FOX Business Monday. Texas is currently competing against Arizona and other states to be the future home of a new lithium-ion battery factory that Tesla estimates could create 6,500 jobs.
“The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up," Perry said.
The Dallas Morning News notes Texas has two Tesla galleries and is in the process of adding a third, but consumers are unable to purchase cars at those galleries. The company addresses that issue on its website:
We currently operate two Tesla galleries in Houston and Austin. In an effort to comply with the current laws, employees at these galleries are prevented from discussing pricing and the reservation process. This includes any discussion on financing, leasing, or purchasing options. Also, galleries cannot offer test drives. The store’s interactive kiosks are also amended to remove pricing. Lastly, we are unable to refer the customer to another store out of state. This puts Tesla at a serious disadvantage and inhibits our ability to reduce misconceptions and educate people about Electric Vehicles and the technology. Furthermore, people are forced to leave the gallery frustrated, lacking sufficient information about the car and the brand.
"The people of Texas will say, 'We don’t need to be protected. We like to be able to negotiate straight away,'” Perry said.
Other states, like Arizona, are also reconsidering legislation that keeps car makers from selling their products directly to consumers. But not all are opposed -- New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission recently approved a regulation that would require all new car dealers to obtain franchise agreements to receive state licenses, outraging both liberals and conservatives.
(h/t Dallas Morning News)