General Motors executives have said some
nice things about Tesla Motors, today’s reality is much more naughty. The issue is whether or not
Tesla should be allowed to sell its vehicles
directly to customers, a battle that is alive and well in state capitols across the US. The latest example comes to us from Indiana, where a bill that was «authored and pushed by General Motors,» (according to Tesla) is making its way through the state legislature. Indiana currently
allows Tesla to sell its EVs direct to customers in the state since 2014, but HB1254 would change that after July 1, 2016 because the bill,
HB 1254, puts an expiration date on the licenses given to Tesla.
The bill says specifically that:
All dealer licenses issued to a manufacturer under this chapter expire thirty (30) months after the date on which the first dealer license is issued to the manufacturer under this chapter. A dealer license issued to a manufacturer under this chapter may not be renewed.
It’s that last line that would put an end to Tesla sales in Indiana. Tesla confirmed to
AutoblogGreen that it sent out a letter asking its fans to tell their legislators to not pass the bill, which will need some dramatic public persuasion, since a vote on the third reading of the bill on February 2nd passed 92-3. You can read Tesla’s letter below.
Tesla drivers and fans are discussing the bill and a potential protest at the state capitol this week on social media and
— Bonnie Norman (@bonnienorman)
February 21, 2016
Even commenters on GM-friendly forums are saying
GM needs to
stay out of this.
Tesla Model S and the
Chevy Spark fit into wildly different EV categories, but Tesla and GM will be competing for the next-gen
electric vehicle sales when the
Model 3 and the
Bolt EVs are released. The two companies have
attacked each other in the recent past, as we suspect the Indiana battle is not going to be the last skirmish.
We have asked GM for comment, but did not hear back by press time. [
UPDATE: GM has responded] You can read the bill for yourself below. HB1254 was officially authored by
Rep. Kevin Mahan.
Show full PR text
We need your help. Yesterday (2/18), the Indiana Senate Committee on Commerce & Technology held a hearing on a bill that would shut down Tesla in the state. Authored and pushed by General Motors, HB1254 with amendment 3 would prohibit any manufacturer from being able to hold a dealer license after December 31, 2017. Existing law allows ANY manufacturer to apply for a dealer license without the use of independent franchised dealers. Despite having a lawfully granted license to sell Tesla vehicles directly since 2014 at the Fashion Mall at Keystone; despite contributing over $42 million to the state through the purchase of parts and components from Indiana suppliers; and despite plans underway to construct a 26,000 square foot Tesla Service facility that will employ approximately a dozen Indiana residents and serve our customers, GM is pushing the Senate Committee to shut out Tesla.
Here’s how you can help: please contact your local Senator – and if you live in one of the districts covered by any of the following Committee members, we urge you to reach out and let them know they should not shut out Tesla. You can find your Indiana legislators here.
Chairman Buck: [email protected] , (317) 232-9466
Senator Merritt: [email protected], (317) 232-9533
Senator Delph: [email protected], (317) 232-9541
Senator Head: [email protected], (317) 232-9488
Senator Houchin: [email protected], (317) 232-9814
Senator Leising: [email protected], (317) 232-9493
Senator Tomes: [email protected], (317) 232-9414
Senator Breaux: [email protected], (317) 232-9534
Senator Broden: [email protected] , (317) 232-9849
Senator Randolph: [email protected], (317) 232-9432
A follow up hearing will be held next Thursday, February 25, 2016, at the Capitol building. Let your voice be heard before that hearing to let them know that Indiana should encourage innovation, economic growth and consumer choice. Don’t let GM tell you that your only option is to buy a car from a traditional franchised dealer by shutting out Tesla.
Thank you for your support and willingness to help Tesla stay and grow in Indiana. As always, when communicating with legislators, please be polite and respectful. Personal attacks should be absolutely avoided as they will only hurt our cause! Thank you again.