Michigan gets into anti-Tesla legislation game

Bills To Prevent Direct Vehicle Sales Moving Through Legislature

2012 Tesla Model S
2012 Tesla Model S
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If you figured the home of the US car industry would be against messing with the age-old, franchised-dealer auto distribution system, you'd be right. Michigan, home to the Big Three US automotive companies (General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, now Fiat Chrysler), is moving towards officially disallowing companies like Tesla Motors from selling their cars directly to consumers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tesla will naturally fight this, but it's one more challenge for the California-based automaker.

Both chambers of Michigan's legislature approved bills banning automakers from selling cars to the public without doing so through a third-party franchised dealership. Tesla once again will rally against this, arguing that the uniqueness of its electric vehicles prevents third-party dealers from properly marketing the cars.

Legislation like this continues to make its way through various states, with varying degrees of approval. Last month, the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association stated its intention to shut down Tesla's one state store and prevent two planned outlets from opening. Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Arizona have also taken a hardline approach to preventing direct automaker-to-public sales. Tesla has worked out compromises in other areas, for example with Pennsylvania in August. There, electric vehicles are now exempted from the franchised-dealer mandate.

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