Tesla Owners Fight Back Against Auto Show Ban

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And get free publicity for their troubles.

Depending on where you live in the US, you may or may not be able to buy a Tesla in your home state. That's because Tesla uses a direct sales model, which means customers buy the cars directly from the automaker instead of a third-party dealership. Dealerships in the US are privately-owned businesses and operate independently of automakers. Car dealer associations are also powerful lobbyist groups and, like any lobby, spend millions on donating to politicians to fight for their interests. One of those state-level interests has been to prevent Tesla from selling its vehicles directly. Therefore, Tesla is currently outright banned to sell and service vehicles in several states.

When it was time for this year's Kansas City Auto Show in Kansas City, Missouri, Tesla owners found out that their beloved automaker had been banned.

TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook

Why? Same old reason: the local car dealer association doesn't accept Tesla's direct sales model. Therefore, owners decided to take matters into their own hands. The Tesla Owners Club of Kansas City decided to organize a volunteer display event with members' private cars parked outside the show. The photos you see here taken from outside the show come from the group's Facebook page. There was no shortage of Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, and Model X owners in attendance

In a statement, the owner's club said: "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."

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TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook

There was nothing the dealer's association could do to stop them. Interestingly, Tesla was initially going to participate in this year's show, but Missouri state law wouldn't allow for it. "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."

But since the owner's club is not a business but rather a volunteer-run independent establishment, the law didn't apply. Well played, guys. Well played.

TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook
TOC Kansas City/Facebook
Source Credits: Tesla Owners Club Kansas City

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