Tesla to start selling vehicles in Michigan under settlement

    Tesla store, Santa Monica, Calif. | Susan J. Demas

    A fight resulting from a 2014 Michigan law is over, as Tesla will finally be able to sell its vehicles in Michigan through a subsidiary.

    Elon Musk, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Inc., speaks at an unveiling event for The Boring Company Hawthorne test tunnel December 18, 2018 in Hawthorne, California.| Robyn Beck-Pool/Getty Images

    The state of Michigan has settled a case the Palo-Alto, Calif.-based electric automaker founded by Elon Musk. The company filed in 2016 over a law banning company-owned stores and service centers. Tesla argued that the domestic auto industry — with General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles and Ford all based in Southeast Michigan — was trying to throttle competition.

    The case is Tesla Inc. v. Benson, as in Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in her official capacity.

    “Today the state of Michigan defendants Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a stipulation to dismiss with Tesla that recognizes that any Michigan resident may lawfully buy a Tesla and have it serviced in Michigan,” said Nessel spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney in a statement Wednesday morning. “The stipulation acknowledges that Tesla may: operate under existing Michigan law; sell cars to Michigan customers as long as the sales contract indicates the sale took place in a state other than Michigan; and, indirectly own service and repair facilities in Michigan through a subsidiary, Tesla Michigan.”

    Tesla also has been fighting to sell directly to consumers in other states like Texas and Connecticut, Bloomberg News reports.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.