Tesla Motors is moving into the backyard of the Big Three automakers. The company in November applied for a dealership license, despite the fact that Michigan is one of several states that does not allow automakers to operate their own dealerships.
The application by Tesla was first reported Friday by the Michigan Information & Research Service.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a law in 2014 that clarified the fact that automakers can not own dealerships in the state.
Tesla owns all of its own dealerships, unlike the big three automakers and foreign manufacturers who allow independent business owners to open dealerships on their behalf.
Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State, said he could not comment on how his office will rule on Tesla.
“Tesla is committed to being able to serve its customers in Michigan and is working with the legislature to accomplish that,” said the company’s statement. “The existing law in Michigan is very harmful to consumers. Tesla will take all appropriate steps to fix this broken situation.”
As expected dealership organizations throughout the United States have fought to keep current restrictions in place, arguing that independently owned dealerships offer car buyers more competitive prices.
The Michigan Automobile Dealers Association said it will fight any attempts to change current laws in the state.