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Bill in NY legislature would let Tesla quadruple store locations in state


Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla's five New York state stores could increase four-fold should a new piece of legislation pass the state legislature.

The bill calls for an increase "certificates of registration for entities that manufacture or assemble zero-emissions vehicles."

In turn, it would "authorize 20 certificates with at least five to be located in certain upstate regions," a potentially major shift beyond Tesla's current five store locations.

New York's Assembly Majority Leader, Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), is the sponsor of the bill, which would see new locations in Albany and Buffalo, New York.

Previously, the state legislature had passed a bill limiting Tesla's retail footprint to just five stores amid pressure from a large, powerful dealership group.

Traditional dealers have long tried to limit Tesla's sales potential in numerous states.

Reception at Tesla Store in New York Ciy following cross-country road trip in Model S electric cars

Tesla's retail stores feature a very different approach to selling a car.

There are few hard-sell techniques, and sales personnel are trained to educate and inform new consumers about electric vehicles and their benefits.

It arguably makes for an more pleasant shopping experience, but it also places Tesla at the bottom of the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index of sales effectiveness.

Secret shoppers associated with that study have long been baffled by Tesla's approach, which contrasts with the franchise-dealer desire to move as much metal as swiftly as possible.

As of this writing, the bill hasn't progressed beyond its June 2 status, when it was referred to a transportation committee.

The bill also comes ahead of a major product launch for Tesla: its more affordable Model 3 sedan.

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla has eyed a $35,000 price point for its entry-level vehicle before federal tax credits are applied.

If that base price is achieved, it would make it the least expensive 200-mile electric vehicle on sale, undercutting the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

To meet its promised delivery dates, Tesla has also skipped the beta phase and will move straight into the production using final tooling.

It's a risky move, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed his confidence in the Model 3 multiple times.

Tesla hopes the New York bill will be passed by June 21—the final day on the state Assembly's legislative calendar.

It's one of a number of state-level skirmishes Tesla has been forced to engage in over the last six years as dealer lobbying bodies seek to alter state franchise laws to preclude Tesla's direct-sales model.

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