Tesla gets authorization from the Virginia DMV to open a dealership

Tesla Model S P100d
There’s good news for Tesla in Virginia. The electric car company has taken hits from states where traditional car dealership associations have fought to keep the firm from opening direct sales showrooms. The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA) similarly fought to stop Tesla’s dealership plan, but the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner has now ruled that Tesla can proceed with its plans, overturning a previous decision by a hearing officer, as reported by Electrek.

Many states have laws restricting auto manufacturers from selling directly to the public. The state of Virginia doesn’t prohibit automakers from owning dealerships outright, but it makes approval conditional. A manufacturer that wants to open its own dealership has to prove that no independent area dealers are available to sell its vehicles. Tesla’s stance is that conventional dealership business models rely on vehicle service and repair to be profitable. Because Teslas have electric drivetrains with many fewer parts and a much lower need for service than vehicles with internal combustion engines, the company argues that a conventional dealership could not make money selling its vehicles.

In a hearing on Tesla’s request for approval for a Virginia dealership license in the Richmond area earlier this year, a hearing officer ruled that Tesla failed to prove there were no dealerships available to sell the company’s vehicles. The officer cited 11 letters from area dealers that said they were interested in selling Teslas.

In his November 30, 2016, ruling, Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb wrote that the 11 dealerships that submitted letters of interest had only done so at the urging of the VADA. Further, when the Commissioner questioned the dealership representatives, it did not appear to him that the dealerships had really done sufficient investigation into what it means to sell Teslas and therefore, although they stated interest, their presentations didn’t meet the spirit of the law in being ‘available’ to sell Teslas.

“Even VADA’s expert stated that the dealers had not taken the next step in preparing a staffing, financing, and operating plan for a Tesla dealership,” Holcomb wrote.

The commission also mentioned support from local Tesla owners in favor of a company-owned dealership.

It’s not a done deal for Tesla in Richmond. Unless the VADA appeals the Commissioner’s ruling in court, however, the way is now much more clear for Tesla to open a dealership in the area.

Gaming

The Division 2 offers nothing but a funhouse mirror of America

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on the design shortcomings of the original game in several different ways, but its version of Washington D.C. is completely removed from reality.
Gaming

Our Fortnite: Battle Royale building tips and tricks will help you survive

Fortnite: Battle Royale sets itself apart from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with its building mechanics. From gathering resources, to making cover on the fly, to building towers, here is how to build like a pro.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.