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Tesla direct-sales bill falters in Texas

The pro-Tesla legislation received bipartisan support, but failed to move forward in the Texas House.

Tesla Motors has been dealt another setback in its state-by-state fight over direct sales to customers, as pro-Tesla legislation falters in the Texas House.

Texas laws currently prohibit automakers from selling vehicles without going through a franchise network. Legislators had been considering new legislation, House Bill 1653, that would have allowed Tesla to establish a dozen stores and bypass the traditional franchise system.

Although the proposal received bipartisan support, it had been strongly opposed by dealer lobbyists. Matching bills in the state House and Senate stalled in committee, and the House bill has now faltered after failing to move forward before reaching a deadline, according to Autoblog.

"I can appreciate Tesla wanting to sell cars, but I think it would have been wiser if Mr. Tesla had sat down with the car dealers first," said Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a Democrat.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry last year criticized the existing laws as "antiquated," serving the dealers rather than consumers. The statement was made while Texas was under consideration as a Gigafactory site, but the state ultimately lost to Nevada.

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