Service center

Connecticut Tesla Service Center Permit Rejected

Tesla Inc. will not be allowed to set up a service center in East Hartford, Conn., after the city’s planning and zoning commission revoked the electric vehicle maker’s building permit last week.

The action comes after local retailer Hoffman Auto Group filed a lawsuit against Tesla, a company working with Tesla and the Planning and Zoning Commission in May.

The lawsuit said Tesla violated state franchise law by selling cars directly to consumers and that the automaker hid its true intent by filing its claim with misleading information.

The lawsuit initially delayed a decision to approve Tesla’s showroom and service center until August, but during that month the commission approved the permit only for the service center.

The commission was unanimous in its March 8 decision to revoke the permit, and continued litigation was the main reason for that, said Connor Martin, chief of staff for East Hartford Mayor Michael Walsh. Automotive News.

“At the end of the day, it wasn’t worth going through litigation, and that was just it.” said Martin.

Even though the building would only be a service center, Hoffman Auto and commission members believed Tesla would still attempt to sell directly to consumers, Martin said.

Hoffman released a statement to the Hartford Business Journal on March 9, applauding the decision to revoke the permit.

Hoffman and other dealers “will continue to prevent global manufacturers from illegally entering our state in a manner that would deprive local consumers of many of the protections they currently enjoy,” the group said.

Martin said East Hartford has yet to hear whether Hoffman has withdrawn the litigation. The group did not respond to requests for comment from Automotive News.

Ownership will revert to its former owners, Gengras Motor Cars, as Tesla never officially purchased it.

A Tesla representative did not respond to a request for comment. Tesla has dismantled its American public relations organization.