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Tesla gets banned from KC Auto Show, owners volunteer to take over

Tesla vehicles were banned from being displayed at the Kansas City Auto Show because the car dealer association doesn’t accept the automaker’s direct sales model, but Tesla owners took the matter into their own hands.

The Kansas City Auto Show is a great way to spend a day and see all the latest vehicles on the market in the same place, whether for fun, or to research your next purchase.

However, Tesla vehicles weren’t present on the show floor this year because of the state’s laws regarding direct sales of vehicles by automakers.

The car dealer association is behind the show, and their bylaws prevent Tesla from being a member.

They said in a statement:

A sales and service agreement with an automaker is the criteria to join the association. Tesla’s business model doesn’t include franchised dealership, thus they do not belong to the association.

Many vehicles at the show are not from automakers but private owners.

Last year, the car dealer associations kicked out two privately owned Tesla vehicles because they don’t accept Tesla as part of the association.

This year, Tesla Owners Club of Kansas City organized a volunteer event to display their cars outside the event:

The Tesla Owners Club of Kansas City is holding a two-day event alongside the Kansas City Auto Show on March 7 and 8, 2020.  Several Tesla cars will be on display and owners will be present to answer questions about life with a Tesla.

Tesla was supposed to participate, but the club said that Missouri law is preventing Tesla from directly participating:

Tesla is no longer able to attend because the State of Missouri has a law that states that dealerships cannot participate in events further than 10 miles from their place of business and the auto show is 11.3 miles away from Tesla.

As an independent entity, the owners’ club is able to participate.

Here are a few pictures of the event by Paul Julstrom via the club’s Facebook group:

Electrek’s Take

At the end of the day, the car dealer association is organizing the event, and they can do what they want.

But what they choose to do is a pity. They should get over Tesla’s business model and allow the cars at the event.

Either way, it gave an opportunity for the local Tesla community to show how passionate they are about their cars and electrification. Kudos to them. That was a great initiative.

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