Tesla Motors, which has battled U.S. auto dealer groups over its direct sales of electric cars through company-owned stores, was approved by lawmakers in Pennsylvania to expand retail operations there.
The state House on Wednesday passed legislation, approved by the Senate last week, that lets the Palo Alto-based carmaker increase the number of stores in Pennsylvania and add more service centers, the company said in an emailed statement. The legislation, which allows as many as five stores in the state, passed 197-2 in the House and still must be signed by Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, to become law.
"We hope the process in Pennsylvania serves as an example for how productive cooperation can lead to a win for all parties involved, dealers and legislators included," Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's vice president for business development, said in the statement.
Unlike previous fights, the Pennsylvania deal arose from cooperation with an industry group, the Pennsylvania Automotive Association, he said.
"It seems state legislatures are feeling pressure to change state laws," said Ben Kallo, an equity analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in San Francisco who rates Tesla outperform. "Pressure is coming from their constituents of all political parties rather than special interest groups."
Tesla fell 0.1 percent to $229.25 at the close in New York. The shares have risen 52 percent this year.