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Tesla owners relieved about the future of the company in Michigan

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jan 22, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Tesla owners, and those hoping to buy one, are rejoicing after a breakthrough in the company's years-long legal battle in the state. The state filed to dismiss their legal complaint, so now Tesla can legally sell cars and open service centers in Michigan.

Jared Wike, who has owned four Tesla's since their release, is pleased to hear the news and is excited to see a new Tesla presence in the state.

"Watch out big three," said Wike.

Like Wike, Matt Smith had to pick up his Tesla from Chicago after ordering online. Then, he had to drive back to fix his windshield.

"I had to take three different trips to Chicago to get it and anytime I would need to go to a service center to get anything repaired--none nearby, so it was a little bit of a challenge," said Smith.

He's excited that an easier option could soon be available.

"Just having a little bit more accessibility, a little bit more support from the government here, I think that's really going to open things up," said Smith.

There is one catch for those looking to buy Teslas in Michigan.

"Now they can represent the car, the terms, and conditions of the purchase, but then you have to title it in another state and bring that title back into Michigan and re-register it in Michigan," said Terry Hanks, President of Sundance Chevy, Buick & GMC.

That's because of the 2014 Michigan law that mandates all car sales go through franchised dealers. Hanks who runs one of the largest car dealerships in the state is relieved.

"It would probably create a situation where you could buy a Chevrolet or a Ford right on your internet through the factory and then I think the dealer system would be service-only if it came down to saving the customer's money," said Hanks.

So far in Michigan, there's only one Tesla showroom at Sommerset Mall in Troy where employees are not allowed to talk pricing. The settlement doesn't completely fix Tesla's issue with Michigan's law, but it does open the door to easier access for customers.

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