Lucid has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas claiming that the state’s rules on automotive dealerships hurt its ability to sell vehicles in the state.
Like some other U.S. states, Texas requires car manufacturers to sell vehicles through established dealerships. However, Lucid markets its vehicles online and sells them through a network of so-called Studios. It asserts that its direct sales and in-house after-sales service are closely tied and that using an independent franchised dealer network doesn’t make economic sense.
Read: Entry-Level Lucid Air Pure Starts At $89,050, A Whole Lot More Than The $69,900 Promised In 2020
In the lawsuit, Lucid has accused Texas of “economic protectionism.” Auto News notes that its legal strategy is similar to one pursued by Tesla in Michigan that, after three years of litigation, saw the electric car leader granted the ability to buy and sell vehicles in Michigan. Like Lucid, Tesla is currently unable to sell vehicles in Texas.
“While many states have welcomed Lucid, the State of Texas has barred Lucid from obtaining a license to operate a dealership in the state,” the lawsuit reads. “Its position is that a Texas law intended to protect traditional dealers against competition by the manufacturers whose vehicles they sell also prohibits manufacturers without independent dealers from operating their own dealerships. As applied to Lucid, this prohibition is irrational in the extreme: it hurts competition, reduces consumer choice, and drives up costs and inconvenience, with no countervailing benefit whatsoever.”
Lucid adds that reducing competition will hurt Texas consumers and that forcing the car manufacturer to conduct sales outside of Texas borders “makes it more difficult, or even impossible, for Texas regulators to protect Texas consumers.”
News of this lawsuit comes just a few days after Lucid revealed that new Touring and Pure variants of the electric Air sedan will be presented next week. The Pure will sit at the base of the Lucid range and start at $89,050 while the Touring will be available from $109,050.