If you can’t build a better car than Tesla…just don’t let them sell Teslas!
Well GM proves again they can Win when they really put their minds to it… like the amazing new Corvette… only this time GM Supported the “Anti-Tesla” Bill… so now the ELR won’t look so bad when there is nothing to compare it to… except a Chevy Volt… wait it is a Chevy Volt… with a $50K interior and a different body.
GM released a statement today supporting a last-minute addition to Michigan House Bill 5606 that would effectively prohibit Tesla from selling cars in the state or even providing customers with information about its cars. It’s the classic David-versus-Goliath tale, where Goliath wants the state to take away David’s slingshot.
The bill, originally focused on franchise-dealership fees, included a last-minute amendment addressing direct-to-consumer auto sales through manufacturer-owned showrooms. That amendment, added by Senator Joe Hune, was tossed onto the bill at the very last minute, a procedural loophole that meant the amendment never underwent public comment or debate on the State Senate floor. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder just signed the bill into law.
Snyder, is up for re-election in a couple of weeks. If he didn’t sign the bill, he would have likely faced an immediate onslaught of attack ads paid for by Michigan’s auto dealers—something that would not have helped his cause in a race he leads by a slim margin.
Governor Snyder said, “This bill does not, as some have claimed, prevent auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers at retail in Michigan—because this is already prohibited under Michigan law.” The updated bill omits one word from the legal phrasing of the existing law, clarifying that manufacturers are only permitted to sell cars in Michigan through franchise dealerships.
“Not content with enshrining their ability to charge consumers dubious fees, on the last day of the legislative session, the dealers managed to make a last-minute change to the bill in an attempt to cement their broader retail monopoly,” Tesla said in a statement. “Using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the state.” Tesla’s statement goes on to point out that the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association is one of State Senator Hune’s top financial backers.
A GM spokesperson said about the law, “We believe that House Bill 5606 will help ensure that all automotive manufacturers follow the same rules to operate in the State of Michigan; therefore, we encourage Governor Snyder to sign it.”
This isn’t the first time Tesla has had to fight for its right to sell its cars. Anti-competitive measures, backed by politically connected dealer associations, have barred the electric carmaker from selling its vehicles in New Jersey and Missouri, while dealer cartels in Georgia, Iowa, and elsewhere hope to effect similar bans. For its part, GM previously backed an amendment to an Ohio law that would ban Tesla sales there; that amendment was eventually struck down.
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