Why GM tried to stop direct Tesla EV sales in Maryland

GM Cites Unequal Standards, But Tesla Still Gets Four-Store Approval

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
If Tesla Motors thought a Maryland bill allowing direct automaker-to-customer sales would be legalized once the state's auto dealers association was on board, it was wrong. No, the California-based maker of the all-electric Model S faced a last-minute wrench into the state's lawmaking process, according to Green Car Reports. And it was General Motors.

As politicos were set to approve House Bill 235 for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's signature, GM stepped up to lobby against it. In fact, after wrangling for the number of state dealerships that would ultimately be allowed for Tesla (it ended up being four), the state passed the bill just six minutes before its deadline.

"While not specific to just Maryland, we also believe all industry participants should operate under the same rules and requirements on fundamental issues that govern how we sell, service and market our products," wrote GM spokeswoman Laura Toole in an email to AutoblogGreen. "GM plans to compete in the all-electric vehicle market. By enacting HB 235, multiple manufacturers may compete with similarly capable vehicles and similar price points, yet they would operate under a distinctly different set of rules, which is why we opposed HB 235."

Regardless, the bill did pass, and the state's governor is expected to sign it into law in May.

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