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July 26, 2023

Tesla to launch first CT sales outpost on tribal land at Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville.

In a long-running debate over whether Tesla should be allowed to sell its vehicles directly to consumers in Connecticut, the Elon Musk-led electric car-making giant may have found a way to skirt state law: by opening a sales center on tribal land.

The Mohegan Sun on Wednesday announced that Tesla will be opening a new vehicle showroom, sales and delivery center at its casino in a “first-of-its-kind” venture.

Mohegan Sun’s Tesla EV Showroom is expected to open this fall, giving buyers their first chance to purchase the electric vehicles in Connecticut. According to information from Mohegan, the sales and delivery center will allow people to purchase and pick up the electric vehicles of their choice, and learn more about Tesla’s solar and storage offerings.

Tesla has been trying for several years to make inroads in Connecticut, but has faced stiff opposition from auto dealers. State law forbids motor vehicle manufacturers from selling their products directly to customers, which is the business model Tesla relies on.  

Tesla has argued that the law is an unnecessary restriction on consumers, but dealers say the existing law is needed to protect buyers' interests when recalls or other large-scale issues arise.

Tesla currently has a showroom in Milford, but it can't sell cars from that location. 

The showroom, sales and delivery center will be located in The Shops at Mohegan Sun, a 130,000-square-foot, two-story dining and shopping pavilion on the property that connects Casino of the Sky to Casino of the Earth. The facility will be located across from Todd English’s Tuscany restaurant, and vehicle deliveries will take place nearby at the Sky Tower valet. Test drives will be possible around the resort, according to Mohegan.

Casino officials said that Momentum Dollars through Mohegan Sun’s loyalty rewards program will be accepted for Tesla purchases.

According to Mohegan, Tesla will also collaborate with the casino and resort to integrate local talent into its workforce development programs.

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