Tesla will look elsewhere after South Windsor rejection


SOUTH WINDSOR — Local officials have rejected a proposal from Tesla to open a showroom on Buckland Road, asking the car dealership to choose another location in town.

But John Hauser, a developer representing Tesla at the South Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, suggested the company would look to another city to do business instead.

“We’re probably not going to an alternate site down the road,” Hauser said. “We’re probably just going to the next town that sees us differently.”

Commissioners voted unanimously against Tesla because the proposed site is not zoned for a car dealership. Hauser said Tesla wanted to be “close to Apple and Whole Foods and not Ford and Chevy” because they didn’t want to be seen as a traditional car dealership, and asked the commission to approve the development In the region.

Connecticut state law prohibits the sale of automobiles directly to consumers without involving a dealership. Tesla therefore wanted to open a showroom and market without offering direct sales. The company, which has two locations in the state, had planned to close a showroom in East Hartford earlier this year.

That project was halted after a lawsuit by a local dealership claimed Tesla was trying to circumvent state law with its planned showroom in East Hartford. Under state law, Tesla can operate service centers and showrooms, but cannot sell cars directly to consumers.

The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association sent a letter to the commission, asking for Tesla’s proposal to be rejected, arguing that the company plans to eventually use the showroom to sell vehicles.

“The commission must not authorize changes to its governmental provisions that would be used as a cover to violate state law,” the letter said.

Commission chairman Bart Pacekonis said he didn’t think the proposed site would be a good place for a car dealership, and said it could be seen as ‘unfair treatment’ for vehicle companies electrics that could ultimately open up the site to more dealerships.

“I understand that Tesla is a quality product and it’s a new wave coming in, and I can’t wait to see all the development that’s going to happen in the next 10, 20, 30 years, because now is the time. great to see what’s going on, how it’s all going to go,” he said. “But the part that’s holding me back is this: this is the Buckland Gateway development area, and we’ve got it made so we couldn’t have car dealerships here. We didn’t want that kind of business.


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