The electric car maker, which could soon lose its license to sell cars directly in Indiana, has accused General Motors of pushing the state’s anti-store bill.
Tesla Motors is waging a long battle with auto dealers over its way of selling cars directly to customers and the electric car maker could soon lose this right in Indiana. Tesla is currently licensed to have stores in the state since 2014, but Indiana State Representative Kevin Mahan has introduced a bill that would “provide that a dealer license issued to a manufacturer expires after 30 months and may not be renewed.” Therefore, the company would be forced to sell its models through franchised dealers after the legal time-frame expires. Tesla accused General Motors of writing and pushing this bill, also saying that “this is nothing more than a protectionist effort by General Motors.” “General Motors made a decision in the early part of the last century about their business model,” Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, stated. “I see no reason why, under general free-market principles, Tesla shouldn’t have that same right.”
This fight comes just before the two carmakers are launching their electric models that would compete on the same segment. If Tesla and GM targeted different types of customers in the past, now both are aiming in the same direction with their upcoming Tesla S and Bolt EVs. “I want Tesla here,” Mahan said at hearing of the Indiana House Roads and Transport Committee last month. “But they need to have a dealership. This bill gives them 2 1/2 years to put a dealership system in place.”