Tesla is currently banned from selling its electric cars directly to customers in Michigan.

Last year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill requiring all new vehicles in the state to be sold exclusively through franchised third-party dealers.

But the Silicon Valley startup automaker is continuing efforts to win over legislators, and the public, in the home of the Detroit Three carmakers.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Doubles Down On Fight For Direct Sales In Michigan, Detroit Three's Home Turf

Tesla is offering test drives and engaging in other outreach efforts to educate potential buyers about its cars, reports The Detroit News.

While no bill is presently in the works to overturn the direct-sales ban, Tesla will continue trying to sway lawmakers, said Will Nichols, the company's government relations manager.

After heavy lobbying from franchised dealers, Tesla was blocked from selling cars in Michigan by small changes to the language of the state's franchise law that were made last fall.

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

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

Legislators removed any wording that might have implied the legality of a manufacturer-owned dealership.

That included things like removing the word "its" from a reference to a manufacturer's franchised dealers.

The changes were made quickly and quietly, and the bill was passed with no time allowed for public comment.

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

Tesla has been trying to change legislators' minds ever since, with little to show for it.

Republican State Senator Darwin Booher introduced a bill in April to allow direct sales of three-wheeled "autocycles."

This would seem to be aimed at helping Elio Motors, which plans to market a three-wheeled vehicle built at a former General Motors plant in Louisiana.

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

The Federal Trade Commission subsequently sent a 10-page letter to Booher, urging him and other Michigan legislators to reconsider the overall direct-sales ban.

It said the ban leads to "protectionism" for dealers and is "likely harming both competition and consumers."

But Booher told The Detroit News that he was not interested in dealing with Tesla, and doesn't plan to expand his bill to include all cars.

MORE: FTC Calls Michigan's Tesla Ban 'Protectionism' For Dealers

Meanwhile, Tesla will not exhibit at next month's 2016 Detroit Auto Show because of the direct-sales ban.

(It joins Bentley, jaguar Land Rover, and MINI in skipping the often-snowy venue this year.)

The company says it only attends auto shows to interact with customers and generate sales.

And since it can't sell cars in Michigan, it doesn't see much purpose in appearing at an auto show there.


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