Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk over the weekend in hopes of striking a deal to allow the U.S. electric automaker to sell its vehicles in the state, according to Baton Rouge's Business Report.
The meeting comes a little over a month after the governor signed legislation restricting Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model, firming up the long-standing industry practice of requiring third-party dealerships to sell vehicles. Tesla at the time chastised the law, which was the latest setback in the Palo Alto, California-based firm’s efforts to push through favorable state-level legislation throughout the country.
The governor sought out the private meeting with Musk, the billionaire behind SpaceX and other tech firms, while at the National Governors Association’s meeting in Rhode Island, says Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Carbo. Edwards hopes to craft a compromise that allows Tesla sales but also appeases the Louisiana Automobile Association—which ushered through the previous law earlier this summer—before the regular legislative session next spring.
“Tesla has worked with other states to implement plans that are supportive of local auto dealers,” Carbo says in an email. “The governor’s goal is to have these conversations sooner, so when the next regular session begins, there can hopefully be an agreement in place.”
Read the Business Report story here.