Michigan is the 10th most populous state in the union, and has for years stymied Tesla's efforts to directly sell its cars to the state's residents. The latest roadblock: refusing to issue an approval or rejection of Tesla's latest application for a dealership license in the state until Tesla submits proof that their store is a franchised dealer. Which Tesla's corporate stores by definition are not.
State law in Michigan blocks companies like Tesla from owning car dealerships, a law created 90 years ago to shield independent dealerships from having to compete with the companies making the very same cars they're trying to sell. Tesla, on the other hand, has no interest in setting up an independent dealership network, preferring instead to operate their own stores.
According to documents obtained by The Detroit News, the state has requested that Tesla "resubmit dealership and service applications as well as additional information at least four times since the company submitted its initial application in November. The state spent nearly six months reviewing the applications even though the company said from the start it wanted to directly sell to consumers."
Without the documentation that the state has demanded and knows full well doesn't exist, the state refuses to rule on Tesla's application. Tesla sales were Michigan were blocked by the passage of a law in 2014 at the behest of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association.
Frustrated by the blocking, Tesla is threatening legal action. Speaking with The Detroit News, Tesla general counsel Todd Maron told The Detroit News that "Whether it's through the Legislature or the courts, one way or another, we're determined to do whatever we need to do in order for justice to prevail and serve our customers in Michigan."