Tesla’s operation in Greenwich may be running out of gas. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has ordered the manufacturer of electric vehicles to “cease all functions” at its 340 Greenwich Ave. location.
As previously reported, Tesla maintains that it is operating a “gallery” there, not a dealership, which is prohibited under law. The Greenwich location remains open as Tesla works on appealing the order.
While Connecticut prohibits a vehicle manufacturer from directly selling its wares to consumers, Tesla is for the third consecutive year lobbying to have that law changed. In the meantime it has been operating the Greenwich location as a “gallery,” where prospective buyers can look at, test drive and later order a Tesla over the phone or on the internet; delivery is supposed to take place outside of Connecticut.
The Connecticut Automotive Retail Association has led the charge against Tesla’s efforts, maintaining that the manufacturer is essentially trying to skirt the law via terminology. CARA President James Fleming told the Business Journal in March that under the law, “We sell cars, manufacturers make them.”
Tesla, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, also operates galleries in Michigan, Texas and West Virginia, which ban direct sales to consumers as well.