After a testy legal battle ended in compromise, electric car maker Tesla Motors is planning to open its first dealership in Virginia off the Dulles Toll Road in Tysons Corner.
Virginia is one of several states — among them New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri and Arizona — in which the automaker has been battling for permission to operate its own dealerships, which often run afoul of state requirements that cars be sold through authorized franchisees.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles initially rejected the luxury automaker’s application to open in the state, prompting Tesla to sue the state. But last fall, after an agreement between the the state, the company and the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, Tesla agreed to withdraw its lawsuit and was granted permission to apply for a single license in Northern Virginia.
The company already shows its cars, led by the $70,000-plus Model S luxury sedan, at a showroom at Tysons Corner Center, but it has not been allowed to sell cars there. So it is of little surprise that the company is negotiating a deal to open its dealership nearby on Tyco Road, according to sources who are familiar with the plans but bound by confidentiality agreements not to discuss them.
Tesla’s stock is way up from last year, and has been trading around $200 a share for most of May. Company spokesman Patrick Jones declined to comment.
On Thursday the Georgelas Group, a prominent Tysons developer, submitted plans to Fairfax County seeking zoning approval to redevelop a concrete warehouse at 8500 Tyco Road into a “vehicle sales, rental, and ancillary service establishment” requiring a special exception. The project is being designed by MBH Architects, of Alameda, Calif., which designed a Tesla showroom in Los Angeles.
Aaron Georgelas, partner at the Georgelas Group, declined to comment. The county planning commission has not yet scheduled a hearing on the proposal.
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