Rick Perry on Texas Tesla Ban: Maybe We Should Reconsider

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It’s amazing what the promise of $5 billion in investments and 6,500 jobs can do. Suddenly, leading politicians in two states that have presented two large threats to Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) have done a near-complete 180 and are courting the electric vehicle startup with favorable legislation that arguably had no shot at passing if Tesla wasn’t considering their states for its Gigafactory location.

After handing Tesla one of its more high-profile legal defeats when it passed a bill banning sales of Tesla’s Model S sedan through factory-owned stores, Texas — more specifically, its governor, Rick Perry — has called for a review of the “antiquated” rules that give car dealerships an advantage in competing with the company.

“Tesla’s a big project,” Perry was quoted as saying by The Dallas Morning News, referring to the company’s Gigafactory. “The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.” He added that it’s in the “best interest” of Texans to revisit those rules, or what “some would say are antiquated protections … for the car dealers. The people of Texas will say, We don’t need to be protected. We like to be able to negotiate straight away.’”

Perry is now requesting that Texas lawmakers offer a “very open, thoughtful conversation about do we want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.” Arizona, New Mexico, and California are also in the running for the new plant, which promises to bring with it some brisk economic activity.

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