New York Auto Dealers Hope to Squelch ‘Tesla Stores’

Green Car Reports

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.

The bills–A07844 in the Assem­bly and S05725–amend the state’s vehi­cle and traf­fic law, “in rela­tion to auto­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers and unfair prac­tices by fran­chisors.”

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.






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