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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?

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

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.

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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