A pair of bills in the New York State Legislature, backed by state auto dealers, would make Tesla-styled online Tesla stores illegal in New York.
Get the details on the fight between New York franchised dealers and Tesla Motors.
A pair of bills in the New York State Legislature, backed by New York state auto dealers, would make it illegal to license or renew licenses for Tesla stores within the state.
The bills, now pending in the last days before the Legislature adjourns for the summer, would make it impossible for any state resident to buy a vehicle not sold by an independently-owned third party – which is to say, a car dealer.
The only manufacturer that now sells cars directly to consumers, rather than through franchised dealers, is Tesla Motors.
Rather than selling to dealers, who then sell to consumers, the company operates Tesla Stores–showrooms, essentially–where customers can ask questions and take test drives before buying their car online from Tesla itself at a set price.
And it prohibits the state from issuing or renewing the registration of any car dealer in which a carmaker holds a controlling interest–unless that certificate was issued before July 1, 2006.
UPDATE: As well as forbidding the state to renew licenses of existing Tesla sites, the bill also makes it illegal to license any future store or dealership owned by a manufacturer.
That goes beyond similar efforts, such as the March 2010 bill in Colorado that prohibited future Tesla-owned sites–but did not seek to shut down the state’s pre-existing Tesla Store.
Note: Tesla says the bill backed by dealers will kill New York sales.