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Tesla forced to temporarily close its stores in Missouri as it awaits appeal decision after car dealers sued

Interior of the Cleveland store as line filters in.

Last week, we reported on Tesla being in a precarious situation in Missouri after the local car dealer association successfully sued the state for having issued a dealer license to the automaker in an attempt to keep their monopoly on car sales. At the time, it wasn’t clear what would happen of Tesla’s two stores in Missouri, but local reports confirmed that Tesla was forced to temporarily close its stores while it waits for the Court of Appeal’s decision.

Local news reported that Tesla displayed a sign on at the Kansas City showroom:

“Tesla has been lawfully selling cars in Missouri for almost four years and employs numerous people at its Missouri stores. Even so, the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association has been fighting against our ability to continue to sell to our customers, including through a lawsuit that it filed against us. After a recent decision by the trial court, our sales licenses were set to expire on December 31. However, the Court of Appeals is likely decide on January 4 whether to issue a stay of that decision to prevent an immediate and unnecessary loss of jobs, tax revenue, consumer convenience, and consumer choice for Missourians. We will temporarily close our Missouri sales locations beginning January 1 while we await the Court of Appeals’ decision. We regret this inconvenience to our customers in Missouri.”

The decision tomorrow would only be to temporary suspend the decision of the court of trial to avoid having to close any location before they take a final decision.

As we reported last week, a judge rejected Tesla’s license renewal after the Missouri Auto Dealers Association (MADA) sued the revenue department for having issued the license to the automaker.

It’s only the latest example of Tesla’s ongoing fight to sell its vehicles directly to customers without having to go through third-party dealerships.

Featured Image: Interior of the Cleveland store as line filters in on the first day of Model 3 reservations, March 21, 2016 – Jon Jivan

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