When founding Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), Elon Musk and company certainly knew that turning the automaker into a viable business enterprise wouldn’t be easy. Exceptional engineering aside, the automotive market as a whole tends not to take kindly to newcomers, especially those with such a radically different approach to the conventional transportation model.
Having seemingly overcome vast numbers of obstacles, Tesla has ended up snagged on one of the challenges that many likely thought would be smoothed out rather easily: states’ unwillingness to let Tesla set up shop within their borders due to dated legislation that gives preferential treatment to the conventional dealer model. Of these battles, one of the hardest fought has taken place in North Carolina.
After a failed court attempt to urge the state to allow Tesla to set up a showroom, the electric vehicle manufacturer has brought out the biggest, most powerful weapon in its arsenal: its only vehicle in production, the Model S sedan. North Carolina’s Senate also voted unanimously to block online auto sales, the backbone of Tesla’s marketing model. Dealers, salesmen, et al. are essentially replaced by an online menu and a credit card form.