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Tesla Puts Electric Cars on Display in Austin

Tesla Motors

The electric car maker Tesla is setting up a "gallery" at the Domain shopping center this weekend. It’ll have its new electric cars on display. And while they can’t sell them in Texas without a dealership, the company can show the vehicles and take orders on the Internet.

“Tesla really wants to sell cars like Apple sells iPads,” said Rory Carroll, senior editor at “They want to have a store where customers can go in, check out their product and buy directly from the company, but in states like Texas there are laws that prohibit dealers from having to compete directly with the manufacturer.”

In Massachusetts, the state auto dealers association recently sued to prevent Tesla from opening its own factory store outside Boston. The judge ruled in Tesla’s favor, saying that because Tesla doesn’t have its own dealer network, it could open its own store. The dealers association is appealing.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.