Tesla Motors' direct sales business model has met considerable opposition from auto-dealer associations in several states.

Lobbying efforts have ensured that there are some states where it's illegal for the company to sell you a Tesla Model S electric car.

Yet while Tesla has its detractors, often found among lobbyists for auto dealers, it also has its supporters--often passionate owners.

MORE: Michigan Gov Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Bill Called 'Corrupt Politics At Its Worst' (Oct 2014)

Last fall, Michigan passed a law preventing Tesla from selling its cars directly to customers. Now a group of owners plans to protest that law

A group of 20 to 50 Tesla owners is expected to gather this weekend at a charging station in St. Joseph Township, Michigan.

They will rally and protest against the state's anti-Tesla laws, reports The Herald-Palladium, a local newspaper.

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

The event is organized by Eric Jackson, a Minnesota Tesla owner who was part of a group that staged a similar protest in Iowa last fall.

Jackson and his fellow Tesla owners drove their cars to a town just outside Des Moines, and offered test drives to the public.

RELATED: Minnesota Tesla Owners Show Banned Model S To Iowa Electric-Car Shoppers (Oct 2014)

He said that the Iowa event drew around 2,000 people, who wouldn't otherwise have had a chance to drive a Model S without leaving their home state.

The Iowa rally came shortly after local car-dealer groups pressured the state to shut down official Tesla test drive events.

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

As with Jackson's previous event in Iowa, the Michigan rally will not have any involvement or sanctioning from the carmaker.

Tesla has often been able to rally opposition to legislation against its direct-sales model in other states, but the Michigan move was quick enough to catch most Tesla supporters off guard.

ALSO SEE: Michigan Anti-Tesla Law 'Unnecessary Protectionism': AutoNation CEO (Nov 2014)

Legislators modified a bill to eliminate any language that might imply the legality of direct sales, then passed the bill with virtually no time allowed for public comment.

Michigan residents can still buy a Model S online, but they must take delivery in another state and then bring the car back to their home state to register it.


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