Tesla has struck a deal with the Oneida Indian Nation to open its first showroom in upstate New York, going around the state law that prohibits car manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to customers.
As reported by Syracuse.com, the 25,000-square-foot facility is planned for a tract of Oneida Indian Nation-owned land across from the International Boxing Hall of Fame at Thruway Exit 35 near Canastota in Madison County.
Expected to open in 2025, the Tesla store will be built by the nation and then leased back to the EV company, with the Oneidas using their existing project labor agreements with local building trade unions to hire workers.
Additionally, Tesla will open a delivery center next week at the Oneidas’ Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, where customers will be able to pick up the EVs they pre-ordered online.
“Tesla’s partnership with the Oneida Indian Nation is an opportunity to make electric vehicles and charging infrastructure more accessible to Nation Members and the residents of Upstate New York,” Rohan Patel, Tesla’s vice president for public policy and business development, said.
The Tesla deal with the Oneidas is made possible under the terms of a “settlement agreement” that the nation reached with New York state in 2013, resolving several long-standing issues with the state, including land claims, law enforcement, and taxes. The agreement allows the Oneidas to “pursue responsible land use and economic development initiatives without [state] interference.”
This way, Tesla is going around the state law that prohibits car makers from selling vehicles directly to customers, forcing them to go through a third-party dealer. It’s the same loophole the EV manufacturer used to open a store and service center in New Mexico, where it partnered with the First Nation of Nambe Pueblo.
The Elon Musk-led firm already operates four locations in the state of New York – two in Westchester County and one each in New York City and on Long Island. These were allowed to remain open after the state law that tightened up rules related to selling vehicles through dealerships went into effect in 2014.
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