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  • Mass. high court to hear arguments in Tesla case

    WBUR - 05/06/2014

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that will decide whether the Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association can challenge the way the California electric-car maker Tesla sells its automobiles directly to consumers, bypassing the traditional middle man — the franchise.

    The SJC will decide whether Massachusetts auto dealers have the legal standing to block Tesla from selling its electric cars without franchises.

    The auto dealers association claims Tesla is breaking the law, specifically Chapter 93B of the franchise law.

    The dealers say manufacturers cannot own and operate stores. And in 2012 they tried to block a Tesla shop from selling cars in the Natick Mall. But a judge ruled that the auto dealers had no standing to bring the case because Tesla isn’t like Chevy or Honda — it doesn’t operate any existing franchises that are members of the auto dealers association.

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