Closest Thing You'll Find to a Tesla Dealership Lands in Michigan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Until January, any Michigan resident hoping to take home a Tesla had to first leave the state. That all changed following an agreement between the state and the automaker, which sued Michigan back in 2016 to protest its protectionist law against direct sales.

Now, the closest thing you’ll find to a true Tesla dealer has appeared outside Detroit.

As reported by Automotive News, a service center in Clarkston first greeted Tesla owners in March, though the attached gallery is new. There, customers can arrange test drives, seek out product and buying process info, and take delivery of a car in person — at least once Michigan relaxes its stay-at-home orders. The store still features “coming soon” signage.

As Tesla’s first standalone gallery and service center in the state (a Troy mall hosts the only other such gallery), the location can be seen as a shot across the bow of the Detroit Three automakers who, along with rivals also bearing a network of franchised dealers, enjoyed the state’s prohibitive law since 2014.

The result of the lawsuit was a compromise between Michigan and Tesla, with service centers allowed to exist only under the ownership of a subsidiary. In this case, Tesla Michigan. Customers can take delivery of their cars from said gallery/showroom, though Tesla can only legally hand over rides with out-of-state titles. Staff on hand at the gallery would then guide the customer through the process of transferring the title to their home state.

The agreement also means that servicing (the importance of which can’t be ignored when it comes to convenience and car ownership) can now take place within the state. Combining sales and service in one building, dealership-style, is a no-brainer, and the location in Clarkston will likely become the first of many. An ominous presence for rival automakers with headquarters just a few dozen miles away.

[Image: Tesla]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on May 14, 2020

    Watched Back to the Future tonight. Set in 1985. Went back to 1955. At the end of the movie Doc Brown was headed for 2015. Reality check: Back to the Future from 1985 was closer to 1955 than it is to 2020. Come with me to Twin Pines Mall. Notice the JCPenney store (where are they in 2020?). Notice the photographic film development booth in the mall parking lot. Check out Doc Brown's 1984 GMC Value Van (not exactly a Denali, is it?). Now check out Statler Toyota of Hill Valley - the home of Marty's 1985 Toyota SR5 Xtra Cab. Things change. Things change more slowly in the automotive world. And slower than that in the world of automotive dealerships. Why is that?

    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 14, 2020

      I remember watching the BTTF movie in the theatre, and when Marty went back to 1985 a few minutes early. The sign said "Lone Pine Mall" because Marty killed one of "old man Peabody's" pines with his Delorean when he took off to avoid the old man's shotgun. I said it out loud, and my friends didn't believe way to rewind a movie but the next time we watched it, my friends had to cash in on the bet I that movie. probably my favorite entertainment movie; it was classic Spielberg

  • NeilM NeilM on May 15, 2020

    Not a fan of the psychedelic pinwheel wheel design.

  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
  • EBFlex The answer is yes. Anyone that says no is just….. wrong.But the government doesn’t want people to have that much freedom and the politicians aren’t making money off PHEVs or HEVs. So they will be stifled.