Electric car company Tesla Motors is looking to bring its new $5 billion factory–and 6,500 job opportunities–to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Nevada, according to local media reports. Texas Governor Rick Perry said that it’s time to revisit the Lone Star State’s current ban on direct car sales, in order to attract Tesla to the state, according to a recent interview on the Fox Business Network.
Perry said, “We live in a different world than we did 30 years ago, 10 years ago. I think it’s time for Texas to have an open conversation about this. […] The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.”
Perry pointed out that Tesla’s system direct car sales, which cut car dealerships out of the equation, “makes sense” in today’s economy. He said, “I think there is going to be a major effort in the state of Texas and the people of Texas will decide. I think the pros will outweigh the cons.”
There are currently several Tesla “galleries” in Texas, but under current laws the company is not allowed to directly sell cars, or even discuss prices, with prospective customers.
Most Texas-based car dealerships assert that allowing Tesla to sell their vehicles would damage the state’s economy. There are currently over 1,200 dealerships in Texas. President of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association Lee Chapman told the Dallas Morning News, “The system we have was put into effect by the state to protect consumers and dealers.”
At this time, Perry has no plans to call a session of the Legislature to address the matter, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The Governor did, however, predict that state officials would decide on the matter at some point.
“The people of Texas will say, ‘We don’t need to be protected. We like to be able to negotiate straight away,'” Perry said.
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