RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia officials now say electric car maker Tesla Motors can apply to operate its own dealership in Virginia.
The decision reverses a previous ruling by Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb. DMV spokeswoman Sunni Brown says additional discussions involving the DMV, Tesla and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association led to the reversal.
State law requires manufacturers to sell cars through a dealer, unless the manufacturer can show that no dealer is available. Tesla sought an exception, saying its unique marketing strategy would not be attractive to a traditional dealer. Customers would use touch screens to customize options and order a car. No inventory would be on hand.
Tesla, which wants to open a dealership in northern Virginia, can now apply for a license with the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board.
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