Tesla's strategy to sell cars, such as the Model S, through manufacturer-owned retail stores has rubbed traditional franchise auto dealerships the wrong way. The battle between Tesla and the Ohio Auto Dealers Association heated up quickly over the past week because a proposed amendment to an Ohio road-maintenance worker safety bill (Senate Bill 137) threatened to ban Tesla stores in Ohio. The automaker asked for help from its supporters to fight the amendment, and on Tuesday all 12 members of the Ohio senate passed the bill without it, Transport Evolved reports.

After the vote, Tesla sent out an e-mail to its supporters thanking them for their help, which you can read below:

Dear Tesla Advocate,

Earlier today, the Ohio House of Representatives Committee on Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security voted out Senate Bill 137 without the anti-Tesla amendment attached to it. We would like to thank all our customers and supporters who took the time to contact their local representatives and express their views on the matter. Your help was crucial to stopping this amendment! Tesla looks forward to continued investment in the state and serving our customers in Ohio, including at our new stores opening in Columbus and Cincinnati this month.

Thanks again for your support!


The amendment was added to SB 137 at the last minute, and the bill originally was to be voted on yesterday. But Tesla wrote e-mails to its advocates on Monday asking for help to fight the inclusion of the amendment, and the vote was quietly moved to Tuesday.

Both republicans and democrats expressed a desire to be careful with the issue of manufacturer-owned dealerships. Rep. Rex Damschroder (R-Fremont) says, "I've watched amendments go through at the last minute and making mistakes." He continues, "This issue is of such importance that it shouldn't be rushed," The Columbus Dispatch reports.

"Are we standing in the way of something that is innovative?" Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) reportedly asked. "This is an up-and-coming, 6,000-employee group that should be given an opportunity to expand."

So for now, Tesla's business model is legal in Ohio, and its first store in the state is scheduled to open in Easton on Friday. A week later the automaker will open a second store in Cincinnati. Of course, there is another incentive for Ohio to not block Tesla's business model. As Damschroder puts it: "[Tesla] might have future potential in Ohio - they are looking for somewhere to build their pick-up trucks," The Columbus Dispatch reports.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 63 Comments
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      In hindsight I'd bet all dealers wish they never bothered wasting time and money fighting the future with lawfare, or maybe they're too greedy to realize they're going the way of Blockbuster Video.
      Gator
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla should sell their own product how they want!!! **** every one else.
        Ron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gator
        I agree with you, but I don't agree with what Tesla is trying to do. For example in my state they want the franchise laws changes, but ONLY for them, giving Tesla alone the legal right to sell directly to customers. I don't care if they want to sell direct to customers, but I do care when they want to change the law in such a way that it gives them alone government enforced competitive advantage.
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ron
          Wrong. Tesla have no desire for dealerships who have bought franchises from manufacturers to ever be allowed to open their own competing stores. That is what the dealerships CLAIM they are afraid of. Tesla is to threat to that. So either you are confused or lying.
          purrpullberra
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ron
          Misspoke- Tesla have no desire for dealerships who have bought franchises from manufacturers to face competing stores opened by the manufacturer. Up until now I didn't want dealerships to lose out to manufacturers either but now I want them all to go out of business and everyone there to lose their jobs. Since they don't care about Tesla jobs why should we care about theirs?
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ron
          Im not even going to comment on THE most ignorant comment Ive ever seen you post Purrpullberra.....seems to me you hold an angst against dealers that leads me to beleive you got pi$$ed off somehow when they didnt bow to YOUR needs...oh boo friggen hoooooo........just because YOU had a bad experience doesnt give you any right to blanket stereotype, other wise, based on YOUR comment, all posters here would be blithering ignorant whiners...get over yourself
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great job.
      m_2012
      • 1 Year Ago
      What does this have to do with road worker safety?
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Teslas were sold at privately owned dealers, the prices would be far higher too...easily 20%+
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Technoir
        Once they realize they have to recoup lost service revenue to stay afloat, the prices would skyrocket. Typical dealers survive almost solely on service and with EVs, that just doesnt exist. Forcing a franchise model is guaranteeing the failure of EVs. Not from the product, but not being able to sell the product.
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Technoir
        m-2012...surviving on service is incorrect......sales, bodyshop and parts also contribute, and its a crap shoot which provides the most income, and vehicles have become so dependable \"large\" jobs are almost non existant....90% is now flat pay warranty work barring high mileage vehicles in which case most people dont want to pay th ludicrous $100 per hour labor charge so they go independent...
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Service provides the largest chunk by far, even the body shop doesnt come close except for a few winter months. $80 oil changes, fuel filters, air filters, spark plugs, injector service, brakes, transmission services, coolant flushes- all gold mines still in a typical dealership. I even saw 'air conditioning tune-up' lately - what kind of gimmick is that? $99 no less. A dealership CANNOT survive without the service department. Impossible. Yes, cars are more dependable but still need regular care that an EV doesn't. Thats why the gimmicks like oil flushes and transmission flushes come from, as well as the 3K mile oil change myth.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          m_2012, you are obviously an intelligent guy, we may have our donny brooks ( dis-agreements ) but where are you coming up with this stuff, it just isnt true.....BMW has 3 years free maintenence, so how are they survivng on their service costs when 80% or so of their vehicles are leased?..used?....nope, everyone I know after the freebies gos independent....
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          once again, it does NOT.....you are ill informed.....and more and more people are going to Indepndents to circumvent outrageous $100 per hour labor charges. $80 oil changes?....what are you driving, thats what I pay for full syntetic AND a tire rotation FROM a dealer, which i do every 5000 miles even though I dont need to till 10000 miles. Fuel filters dont need replacing before 50000 miles minimum, same with transmision flush, injectors usually to 100k at least, coolant also at 50k. And also, warranty claims are down almost 80% so what does THAT tell you about vehicular dependability....seriously M-2012 you are living 15 years ago....
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          All good points and yes, things change. Cars are better mechanically and take more money to fix body value. My point was, the actual sale of the car is not a very large chunk of the total value of the sale. Dealerships under the current model need revenue from the service and parts area. That will exist to a lesser extent with EVs. I cannot wait for the day I am not standing out in the cold filling up my car or in some dealership waiting for an oil change. Time is valuable, I'd rather spend it anywhere but those places.
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a great win. Furthermore, it may set up a federal issue with other states interfering with interstate commerce with their anti-Tesla pro-dealer laws. Where there are differences between state laws such as this, SCOTUS may eventually get involved.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Definitely a well timed win and one that will likely carry-over in other cases.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting. This amendment passed through the state House unanimously just yesterday, and gets unanimously rjected at th state Senate today. Either we are witnessing invertebrates evolve at lightning speed, or we are just seeing the behaviors of cockroaches when you turn the lights on.
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not a fan of Tesla, or that arrogant hipster punk Musk, but in this case I am glad that Tesla won. Dealers are incredibly greedy and obnoxious people to deal with and the less power they have the better for the consumer.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's time for the rest of the auto manufactures to grow some balls and start doing the same thing. Who needs dealer networks? It's about time those laws were overturned!
      Dean Hammond
      • 1 Year Ago
      good, now we can see what happens....is Ohio a large customer base though?......
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        It would be interesting to see who put those last minute changes in and how much money was involved buying those politicians off. I bet they are just all kinds of upset right now, and whoever "donated" to the cause is wondering where the money went.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          on that note, and dont burn me, because the swing went in Teslas favor.....who did buy the Politicans off?.....
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        They have sold cars there with no stores, I imagine they will do OK with them.
        rudefyet
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean Hammond
        I see 2 Telsas regularly on my daily commute. From what I can tell though, there's very little charging infrastructure in the Columbus Area, except at some Walgreens, Nissan Dealers and Easton (where the Tesla store is). Wouldn't be good for anything but a car with the range of the Tesla, especially for me as I drive about 80 miles a day.
          Dean Hammond
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rudefyet
          I see a BUNCH, So Cal may have the most per state.....
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      These dealership pimps and thieves are extreme lowlifes that need to be flushed down the toilets they all live in as well as each and every legislator who has ever voted to help one. Anyone who wants Tesla to fail or even to use dealerships is on the strong side of history, decency, freedom and everything good America can stand for. Anyone who supports these attempts to thwart Tesla's right to sell their products is an extreme lowlife and is un-American to their core. It is mostly the GOP and 'conservatives' who are responsible for the hated and well-despised institution of rape known as dealerships but even a democrat who supports these evil institutions should be taken out in any way possible. We can't afford to let people like that thwart the real American dream that Tesla represents. Their destruction is required by decency.
      Chunky
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am an Ohio Republican who wrote to Gov. Kasich in support of Tesla this week. I don't think people can generalize that Republicans are all against Tesla.
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