Local Dealers Pan Tesla's Online Sales, Apply Legislative Pressure


Tesla attempted to have the Texas law changed earlier this year, but the company's efforts were quashed by lawmakers who took in more than $2.5 million from car dealers in the 2012 election cycle, TPJ reported.

The report, titled "Car-Dealer Cartel Stalled Musk's Tesla," points out that the Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) spent more than $700,000 lobbying against Tesla's efforts during the 2013 legislative session.

Sixty percent of all current lawmakers in Texas collected money from TADA in 2012, according to the report. Only 17 House members did not receive money from the group.

In comparison, Musk spent between $250,000 and $565,000 on lobbyists, and an additional $7,500 in campaign contributions.

Tesla declined to comment on the Texas legislation, and the TADA did not return calls seeking comment.

Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla Motors' vice president of business development, told ABC News earlier this year that Tesla does not want to go through dealerships to sell its car because only its staff can properly educate the public on what makes electric cars and Tesla cars unique.

"We're not in the business of tearing down the dealer model," said O'Connell. "We simply believe that to successfully introduce this technology to the market, it needs to be done in a focused fashion, by us."

ABC News' Susanna Kim contributed to this report.

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