After a failed attempt earlier this year to change Utah's dealer-protectionist laws, Tesla has taken its case to the Utah Supreme Court. The auto manufacturer argues that Utah's present law regarding auto sales (Utah Code Title 43 Chapter 3 "Motor Vehicle Business Regulation Act") violates Utah State's Constitution which provides for a free-market economy. Utah's Solicitor General rebutted that "In essence, Tesla argues it has a constitutional right to sell cars any way that Tesla prefers. But that's not the law no matter how strenuously Tesla UT tries to cloak its preferred business plan in constitutional garb." See Respondant's Brief filed with the Utah Supreme Court. Tesla submitted its briefs to the Utah Supreme Court on Monday, May 9, 2016.
Tesla is anxious to stock its new $3 million showroom in Salt Lake City with inventory, but the current Utah law only allows Tesla to repair vehicles on their property. They may also sell used Teslas, and provide test drives in used Teslas. Tesla hopes Utah will revise its dealer-protectionist laws by the time their new Model X and Model 3 become available for consumers. Tesla claims that it can't sell cars through traditional third-party dealers because those dealers don't have the incentive or the knowledge to sell sophisticated electric vehicles. Instead, Tesla claims, third-party dealers are incentivized to encourage consumers to purchase combustion engine vehicles instead of their electric cars.
Telsa's dominance will continue to grow, and Utah has an opportunity to host this blossoming company. However, if Utah's lawmakers continue to bow to lobbyist pressure from auto-dealers, Utah will miss out on an opportunity to be part of the Tesla revolution.