HARTFORD: Tesla is looking to a new legislative session in their effort to enable its “direct-to-consumer business model” and sell its electric cars in the state. According to a company release Tesla says it “remains eager to invest in new locations and employ workers that would address the consumer demand that exists for its electric vehicles and energy products.”
The company has cited an interest in opening as many as eight dealerships in Connecticut with an anticipated employment of 25 employees in each on.
Support for the proposal to allow Tesla to sell direct had mixed support among lawmakers. The legislators did not vote on legislation that would have allowed the legislation the company was seeking. Tesla currently has a sales “gallery” in Greenwich and a ‘service center” in Milford. The company operates its direct sales model New York and Massachusetts and “invites its customers there to take delivery of their Tesla vehicles.”
Sales are made in those states and the company claims that the lost [to Connecticut] local sales tax results in “several millions of dollars of lost revenue opportunity for Connecticut.”
Connecticut new car auto dealers currently operate on a “franchise” model and companies like GM, Ford, Toyota are not permitted under Connecticut law to sell direct to consumers.
In accompaning release the company showed support from both Democrats and Republicans with Democrat Senator Cathy Osten, Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee saying “It also means jobs for people in every corner of Connecticut.”
Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides has said, “How many times have we seen the state offer taxpayer money to lure businesses to Connecticutn. This is exactly the opposite – a company that wants to invest its own money, create jobs and send us tax revenue. We either need to pass this legislation or find some common sense in a hurry.”
“Connecticut can no longer afford to be a place where the interests of a protected class are placed ahead of the state’s economic and environmental goals,” said Senator Art Linares. He added, “we need to modernize our economy and create 21 Century jobs, so that we are in a position to compete in the coming decades.”