Ron DeSantis signed a bill that banned direct-to-consumer car sales in Florida — but left an exception for Tesla

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  • Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill banning direct-to-consumer car sales in the state.

  • But the bill leaves a notable exception for electric-car companies, including Tesla.

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is cozy with DeSantis and hosted his presidential-campaign launch on Twitter.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill this week banning direct-to-consumer car sales — with one notable exception for Elon Musk's Tesla.

The measure prohibits car manufacturers from selling directly to consumers in the state and instead requires them to rely on franchised dealerships.

But there's a carve-out in the legislation that allows electric-car companies, like Tesla, to continue selling directly to their customers without using a dealership if that's already their established mode. Startups like Rivian and Lucid, which have followed Tesla's lead on direct-to-consumer sales, would also be exempt.

Musk, who owns Twitter, hosted DeSantis' presidential-campaign launch on Twitter Spaces last month.

After a glitchy start, DeSantis formally launched his 2024 campaign on an audio-only forum and answered questions on issues, including his ongoing feud with Disney and his crusade against "woke" ideology.

The Florida governor heaped praise on Musk, calling him a "free-speech advocate" and thanking him for shelling out billions to purchase Twitter.

DeSantis' administration also struck a deal with Musk's SpaceX last year to set up Starlink satellite services in parts of southwest Florida that had been affected by Hurricane Ian.

Musk, meanwhile, has publicly expressed support for DeSantis' 2024 presidential bid. He tweeted that former President Donald Trump — the current GOP frontrunner — was too old for a 2024 run and that DeSantis would "easily win" against President Joe Biden.

Dealerships are key to the EV transition

Traditional automakers have no plans to get rid of the dealership model that they've used for decades — even if it's taken some convincing to get everyone on board.

Ford, for example, has convinced most dealers to sell electric cars while getting rid of everyone's least favorite part of a dealership: haggling.

In fact, franchised dealer lots and their service departments are key to making sure consumers can test drive new electric vehicles, and perhaps more importantly, get them serviced.

Last year, GM reported seeing a significant number of Tesla customers in its shops as the company struggles to make sure its service department can keep up with its explosive growth.

Read the original article on Business Insider