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The NPR story doesn't seem correct, at least according to my understanding that Tesla show room locations do not sell cars, only provide information about them. A car dealership is a business/location that sells cars, and Elon's argument is that a Telsa store does not sell cars and is therefore not a dealership. Sounds like defensible logic against the franchise lobby-law to me, but according to the NPR story a Tesla store sold a car. The law is ridiculous, but it is still the law.

According to the story: Mark Seegar claimed, "he walked past Tesla Motors' Bellevue, Wash., showroom. It's one of a handful of Tesla's company-owned stores. Within five minutes, he'd put down a deposit for an electric car that costs more than $50,000."

Tesla's site: "As it is, our Product Specialists could not sell you a car today under any circumstances, as Model S is already sold out several months in advance and there is no inventory on site. All they can do is get you to consider placing a reservation." http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-approach-distributing-...




> ...Tesla show room locations do not sell cars, only provide information about them.

Now how much would you bet that this argument will win this case for Tesla?

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Depends if jury believes putting down deposit is "buying" or not.

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Tesla has an online reservation system (https://www.teslamotors.com/own). From http://automotivedigest.com/2012/10/dealers-annoyed-with-tes... :

> Tesla’s stores are a bit dif­fer­ent – essen­tially show­rooms to gain con­sumer inter­est and edu­ca­tion. For those impressed and want­ing to buy, they’re directed to a com­puter to make their deposit and place their order.

Tesla here is clearly navigating on purpose through a gray area in which the customer is technically not buying anything from the show room.

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gray areas are what make epic court cases. If it was cut and dried one side or the other would settle.

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