Why not locate Tesla retail stores/service centers on Native American reservations?

Why not locate Tesla retail stores/service centers on Native American reservations?

I think all of the states that are unfriendly toward Tesla have Native American reservations. Could Tesla make a deal with some of the tribes and place Tesla stores and service centers on their land? Gaming has been a big success for many of the tribes, why not Tesla? Is this possible or just a crazy idea?

bduke | 12 marzo 2014

I love that idea. Here in Connecticut that would be a very busy area with lots of traffic.

AmpedRealtor | 12 marzo 2014

Tesla is targeting affluent buyers. You don't find many of those on a Native American reservation, sorry to say.

carlk | 12 marzo 2014

That's a brilliant idea. You might not even have to set it up in a reservation. I could be wrong but my understanding is many of the Native American Casinos are sponsored by tribes but physically located in non-reservation areas. | 12 marzo 2014

Setting up a paleface business on a reservation in order to evade state law has a more-than-faint disreputable odor about it. TM is not a disreputable company. I'm sure they would prefer to confront the issue directly.

zjmo2 | 12 marzo 2014

AmpedRealtor, you're missing the point. Many of these reservations contain huge hotels, casinos, theatres, etc. They are located near major highways and are visited by millions of people every year. People travel to them across state lines. They are protected under federal treaties (not state laws). If gaming is legal on these reservations, why not Tesla?

thranx | 12 marzo 2014

I think it's a terrific idea. And the notion of promoting an EV meshes perfectly with the (professed, if not always followed) Native American ethos of concern for the environment.

Arizona would be an obvious place to try this out, except that if AZ ends up with the battery plant I would think dropping the anti-direct sales regulations would be part of the deal and therefore siting on a local rez or two would not be necessary. But Texas, now, and New Jersey.... New York, too.

Great free PR for whatever casino-hotel complex adds a show/salesroom. "Free Tesla test drive with every visit!"

zjmo2 | 12 marzo 2014


Having a presence on a Native American property is much smarter than having no presence at all. It would allow current Tesla owners to have their cars serviced near there homes and allow thousands of visitors to see the cars. Since the Native American reservations fall under federal (not state) treaties, this could also allow Tesla to have a presence in the unfriendly states while they work on overturning the state laws, which could take years. Many of these Native American reservations already have huge hotels, casinos, theatres, and retail stores. They are located all over the country and near major highways.

RonaldA | 12 marzo 2014

excellent idea!!

thranx | 12 marzo 2014

Uh-oh: no Federally-recognized rez in NJ or (except for a tiny spot near the Mexican border) in Texas. But plenty of presence in NY, and Oklahoma.

shop | 12 marzo 2014

At first, I thought this was a bad idea, but it true that large casinos draw a lot of visitors and appreciate the chance to browse at shops. The question is whether the number of unique affluent visitors is large enough.

Mathew98 | 12 marzo 2014

There are plenty of big whales who drop $$$ into casinos every year.

It would be a neat idea if it were possible. But then what's in it for these casinos? Do they just collect rent or do they get a cut of each sale too?

AmpedRealtor | 12 marzo 2014

I agree that this would be a good idea, but only if it's in addition to having galleries in mainstream locations. I know many people who don't want to go anywhere near a casino, especially with children, yet visit the mall every other weekend.

jordanrichard | 12 marzo 2014

Casinos are hurting right now. As a mater of fact the 2 casinos here in CT, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods were laying people off. Foxwoods is about to expand the retail portion of the property to offset the lost revenue from the gambling floor. Both of these casinos are relative close to RT 95, that is why all the concerts take place there versus Hartford.

1LuckyGuy | 12 marzo 2014

A contribution to a new casino and a dozen cases of Budweiser should get the deal done!

jordanrichard | 12 marzo 2014

Tesla would just pay rent as any one of the other retail stores in the mall.

1LuckyGuy | 12 marzo 2014

"On Johnny's first day of kindergarten, the teacher asked all the students to sit Indian style. So Johnny grabbed a 30 pack and laid on the curb"

And I'm 1/4 Indian so don't call me racist! Lol

Brian H | 12 marzo 2014

Slightly OT, I knew an ex-dealer from Alberta who went out-of-business and to-the-dogs (including time for drugs in jail) after the tribe refused to renew the expiring 99-yr lease his dealership was on.

jvs11560 | 12 marzo 2014

I know this thinking is in the minority, but why doesn't Tesla set up company owned stores, or Franchise Dealers across the country, and comply with each states franchise laws? I'm sure there are a lot of investors that would love to own their own Tesla Franchise. Franchise laws were created for a reason. Some of which are anti trust protection, consumer protection, lemon law protection and the list goes on. In fact, South Africa passed some new Franchise laws just a few years ago.

Tesla could still set the price, control quality, and probably have better service. Plus, you'll have a local resource to go to in the event of a problem. I can't begin to count the number of MS owners that complain about contacting someone in Paolo Alto. They just can't get through.

If Tesla wants to compete (they are a publicly traded stock corp) then they should be subject to the same rules as the Nissan EV, Volt, and BMW rules.

bduke | 12 marzo 2014

jw40: I think both of your comments are inappropriate I don't care if you are 1/4 Indian. Your comments demeans the native american and issues with alcoholism. I did not LOL but cringed.

bduke | 12 marzo 2014

Casino retail stores already attract high end products and high rollers. I'm sure the rent is high but there is a lot of traffic in those places. All big name casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City and here in Connecticut rent to the big name companies and what I have seen these stores are very busy.

jordanrichard | 12 marzo 2014

jvs11560, due to the franchise laws car manufacturers are not allowed to open their own stores. Apple and Nike can have corporate stores, but Tesla can't because they sell cars. The frnahcise laws are not to protect the consumer as the NADA will have everyone believe. It's to protect the franchisees. That is why the NADA is making a big stick about it.

If Tesla were to allow others to open Tesla stores, then they would have to raise prices. Anytime you had a middleman, the price goes up.

Each state is different, hence there is no one solution that will work for all.

carolinagobo | 12 marzo 2014

+1000 please fwd to Elon this idea and ask if Space X can start a dealership franchise to sell only BEV.

Some posters in the windows of Tesla's stores with the explanation that we can sell in this state because corrupt politicians and dealerships are trying to demise an American company would be great.

zjmo2 | 12 marzo 2014


Having local Tesla service centers would alleviate the problems your friends are having getting through and Tesla service centers do not operate at a profit. All of companies you named have already had established franchise dealerships for many years. It would be unethical for car manufacturers to undercut them. Tesla has never had dealerships and should not be required to sell through them. There is plenty of information about Tesla's reasons available. Read about it.

1LuckyGuy | 12 marzo 2014

Par duke you're an idiot. Lighten up. Go to a reservation and see that it's absolutely true.

TeslaLandShark | 12 marzo 2014

@zjmo2 - wow, really interesting idea, I would have never thought of it myself. Not sure whether it would fly but very creative thinking. | 12 marzo 2014

Folks, you have to draw a distinction between (a) what would be a really kewl thing for TM to do to get back at the anti-Tesla states, and (b) what TM is actually going to do about it. I don't have the answer to (b) - I would suggest litigation, since make-nice clearly isn't working - but I'm pretty sure you won't be seeing a Tesla store on some reservation between the casino and the Cheep Smokes Shoppe.

wcalvin | 12 marzo 2014

I'm sure Autonation would happily front for Tesla on the sales end.

But what is such a big deal with just a gallery? As I recall, you buy online from the factory, paying California sales tax etc. Then you have to register the car and get plates yourself.

This makes a $$$ difference in Washington State, where a new EV doesn't pay the 9% sales tax, but for most states the gallery-only arrangement ought not deter too many buyers.

jvs11560 | 12 marzo 2014

How about this....Open up franchise locations in States that already have laws on the books. Tesla can get a few million dollars from each franchisee and still control the operator. Have you ever read some of the agreements? The Manufacturer/Parent company makes all the rules and dictates almost every aspect of the franchisee.

Tesla would still be able to set a minimum price, and consumers would still be able to buy in states where no franchise laws exist. If a Tesla Dealer in New York isn't reasonable, the consumer can always buy in Massachusetts and have the car serviced at the dealer that lost the sale. Win-Win!

To be fair, Tesla buyers get incentives from Government (Federal and some States) which has to help their sales. With the stock hoovering at around $250.00 a share, there is not going to be too much support from ALL to circumvent existing laws, just because it will effect Tesla's profits, control, and some buyers.

Laws are laws. Personally, I do not like the law that I have to pay taxes. Is there anything I can do about it? Think about it???

NKYTA | 12 marzo 2014

@jvs11560, "laws are laws" - but when they are stupid laws that don't help the consumer they should be revoked. Hopefully Elon continues fighting the good fight and when I'm 70 there will be no more NADA.

Mel. | 12 marzo 2014

jvs11560, who was it that said "and the reason for your post is "

Anyway we need McLeary back.

Mike C | 12 marzo 2014

The thing is they still have galleries and deliveries (3rd party) in the "banned" states. So the only advantage you'd get is that the employees can discuss price and offer test drives really.

Jamon | 12 marzo 2014

@jvs11560 - most "states that already have laws on the books" allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers. Dealer protection laws only apply to manufacturers who have a dealership in their state, making it illegal for a manufacturer to wait for dealerships to spend tons of money on real estate, advertising, inventory, etc, then later undercut the dealerships by selling directly to consumers. Tesla has no dealerships and therefore no conflict of interest by selling directly to consumers, and therefore is not subject to these dealer protectionist laws any more than Apple or Nike or Lego.

The issue here is that the dealers associations are sneaking in laws that are specifically designed to prevent Tesla (or any future manufacturers without dealerships) from selling directly to consumers, even though it was a perfectly legal, ethical, and successful business strategy. In most states there are no laws that prevent Tesla from selling directly to consumers. Lately some legislators have been meeting behind closed doors without a public hearing to vote for laws designed to cripple a new business just because it threatens to disrupt the existing hierarchy of power while benefitting consumers. This is not free market capitalism. It is illegal, un-American, and downright shameful.

Jamon | 13 marzo 2014

@zjmo2 I like your outside the box thinking. However I agree with @Pettifogger's sentiment that TM doesn't need to find a way to sneak around existing laws. They have brought forth a better way of doing business in the auto industry and are clearly on the right side of this battle. If they resort to sneaky tactics they will have lost this battle, and will have let down a lot of employees, shareholders, and enthusiasts. They need to keep this battle in the bright daylight until enough voters can see the hypocrisy and throw out the corrupt politicians.

vouteb | 13 marzo 2014

Why not build out Europe first?
Think global, not US centric

Demixl | 16 dicembre 2019

Yeah, and then give to the natives some Tesla cars. The new Cybertruck will be perfect for them. So that they could drive it through their forests and hunt. And also build a casino next to Tesla, so that they could bet their gold.