Tesla Gets OK to Open Dealerships in Pennsylvania

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    A Tesla Motors vehicle is seen on the showroom floor.

    Gov. Tom Corbett has signed legislation allowing Tesla to open five dealerships in Pennsylvania.

    Tesla pushed for the bill, signed last week by Corbett, because its business model had run up against a state law prohibiting manufacturers from also acting as a vehicle dealer.

    The bill won swift approval after the sponsor, Sen. John Rafferty of Montgomery County, introduced it in June.

    The law applies any electric vehicle maker and carries certain conditions, including that it deals exclusively in its own brand and it doesn't hold a controlling interest in another make.

    Rafferty says a similar exemption for Saturn was allowed in 2000. Tesla had already opened a dealership in the King of Prussia Mall in suburban Philadelphia, although Rafferty and state officials couldn't explain how it had qualified for a license.

    Meanwhile next door in New Jersey, Tesla remains barred from selling its cars from the company's Garden State showrooms. The state's auto dealers has been fighting the measure arguing that the company should use a dealership model instead of selling directly to consumers. That law remains in the state legislature.