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DMV denies Tesla request to run its own dealership

Tuesday - 4/23/2013, 4:38pm  ET

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- Virginia officials have rejected a request from electric car maker Tesla Motors to operate its own dealership at a Tysons Corner mall.

State law requires manufacturers to sell cars through a dealer, unless the manufacturer can show that no dealer is available.

Tesla sought an exception, saying its unique model for selling cars would not be attractive to a traditional dealer. The showroom would be more of a "design studio" where customers would use touch screens to customize options. No inventory would be on hand, and customers would wait up to six months to receive their vehicle.

The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association objected to Tesla's request.

In a ruling Monday, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb said he was unable to determine that no dealer could meet Tesla's needs.

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