Ironically, one of them begged Tesla to build a factory there.
This is a situation Tesla has been fighting since its inception. Despite being the world's most valuable automaker, not every US state legally allows Tesla to directly sell its lineup, like the popular Model 3 and Model Y. Instead, these state governments are demanding for Tesla to abide by the dealer franchise model whereby automakers do not directly own their dealerships.
Proponents claim this business model protects jobs and forces dealers to compete for your business. Opponents argue people are now purchasing cars online and direct sales help lower those costs. In short, the car buying process is undergoing rapid change. And now, another two US states are trying to pass bills that'll ban direct new vehicle sales.
Mississippi and Oklahoma want to preserve the status quo and Tesla is now asking fans for help to defeat these measures via its new Tesla Engage social media platform. Tesla currently only has a single store in Mississippi and it very much wants to keep it running. For now, the Magnolia State's bill is stuck in the state's Senate Finance Committee. Oklahoma is a different matter. The new House Bill is still alive and would force the carmaker to shutter its stores in that state if passed.
"This bill could force Tesla to close its existing locations in Oklahoma AND prevent Tesla from shipping cars to anyone in the state, which would force locals to travel out-of-state to service their cars or pick up their new Tesla vehicles," Tesla states in the posting. "Oklahoma should focus on increasing revenue and jobs in the state, not stifling competition and limiting consumer choice."
Ironically, Oklahoma fought extremely hard to win the bid for Tesla's new Gigafactory for Cybertruck and Model Y production. The Sooner State ultimately lost out to Texas. Tesla later decided to build a new service center in the state. CEO Elon Musk also hasn't ruled out building a future components factory there.
But for now, Tesla's goal is to prevent the state from passing that bill. There are currently ten states that outright ban Tesla sales. Three of those states - New Mexico, Alabama, and South Carolina - also ban service centers.