Georgia dealers want Tesla store shuttered for selling too many Teslas

Imagine owning the most popular automaker in the United States. Now imagine a special ​interest group eliminating your ability to serve over 10 million Americans unless you did business with their unique cartel.

That's in essence what happened right before Labor Day weekend, when the Georgia Auto Dealer Association filed a petition with state officials seeking to cancel Tesla's license to sell its cars in the state of Georgia.

Tesla's crime? Selling 173 cars directly from a factory-owned store located 25 miles away from Atlanta, the only Tesla retail location in Georgia. The dealers say Tesla can only sell 150 cars a year from the shop under state rules, and therefore should lose its dealer license entirely.

“It’s just very simple -- we want them to comply with the law the way others are,” Bill Morie, president of the Georgia dealers association, told Automotive News.

The elimination of one store in a state of 10 million people may seem like a minor blow given that there is still a five-month waiting list for the Tesla Model S. But the long-term cost to Tesla may be far greater than most consumers and investors would imagine.