tesla-1Legislation now under consideration in Washington state would effectively prevent Tesla Motors from opening new stores in the state beyond its existing locations in the Seattle region — the latest development in the electric car maker’s national struggle against the traditional auto dealership model.

Tesla is vowing to fight the legislation, calling it an effort by traditional auto dealers to combat the company’s growth and expansion.

The stakes are high: Tech-savvy Washington was the top state in the country for Tesla sales last year, measured as a proportion of overall new vehicle registrations in the state, according to data from auto researcher Hedges & Co., cited by Bloomberg Businessweek.

tesla-modelsThe proposed legislation “basically freezes us where we are,” allowing no further expansion in Washington state beyond existing locations in Seattle and Bellevue, said James Chen, Tesla’s vice president of regulatory affairs and associate general counsel, via phone this afternoon.

Chen said he considers the legislation ironic under the circumstances: “Here is Washington state, the leader in seeking clean power, clean air, clean water, and standing for innovation in technology, the home of Amazon.com, and yet there’s legislation that is basically stifling an innovative car company, an American car company, that is trying to get us off our dependence on foreign oil and reduce the emissions profile of the light duty vehicles,” he said.

“You’re looking at basically a special interest group, the dealers, trying to establish through the law a monopoly on how consumers can purchase products,” Chen said.

The original intent of these types of regulations was to prevent auto manufacturers from competing with their own licensed dealers, he explained, but Tesla sells direct to consumers and isn’t competing with its own licensed dealers when it opens its own stores.

Officials with the Washington State Auto Dealers weren’t available to discuss the legislation this afternoon. We’ve also left messages with two state legislators sponsoring the two bills — SB 6272 and the companion HB 2524 — and we’ll update this post depending on what we hear back.

Tesla has successfully fought off similar legislative efforts in other states, including North Carolina, but Washington state is one of several ongoing battlegrounds for the electric car maker, led by CEO Elon Musk.

UPDATE: Rep. Reuven Carlyle, who chairs the state’s finance committee, is not too wild about the idea. He sent us this statement about the legislation this evening:

“Tesla’s embrace of a direct, open competition sales approach is exactly what we say we want from old style, traditional industries to survive—innovation, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit.  The ridiculous notion that the political process in the Legislature should intervene in the marketplace of ideas in the automobile industry to prevent Tesla from direct sales is patronizing at best, and many of us are committed to defeating this special interest legislation.”

Previously on GeekWireTesla exec on potential North Carolina sales ban: ‘It’s an inconvenience’

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  • Guest500

    Uber, Tesla, tech buses, the government, who claims to want “jobs”, sure does work hard at preventing them. So much for innovation; hey people, you have a break a few eggs to make an omelet.

    • stopcrazypp

      What kind of jobs do dealers provide that Tesla stores and service centers can’t? This has nothing to with jobs, but rather protecting the profits of the middlemen that run car dealers.

    • jonny

      What are you trying to say? Be direct.

  • Guest501

    How is Tesla prevent jobs? You mean by not hiring dealers? No, they hire their own employees to do the job. The issue is whether you buy the cars from the company that makes them, or are legally required to use a middleman.

    I’m all for middlemen remaining legal; it is just not reasonable to make them the only legal option. Especially when the middlemen (dealers) are the whole reason that automakers are reluctant to build plug-in vehicles…consumers have questions about new technology like plug-in cars, so it takes longer to sell them, so dealers push them towards gas cars instead.

    • Guest500

      Typing too fast. I meant the government stifles jobs by stifling innovation, in this case, the direct sales model in favor of “make jobs” which is the old fashioned dealer model. That’s inefficient and puts what amounts to a tax on the vehicle.

    • My2Cents2013

      To be clear – Car manufactures don’t “hire” dealers. Dealership pay handsomely to be a Toyota or Ford dealer.

      Your’re for middle men? Why? What advantage is that to the buyer – it certainly raises the cost. The dealership has to make a profit, that’s why they are in business.

      If consumers have a question about the Tesla – the can go to a Tesla Gallery (showroom) and get all the information they could ever want or need. Tesla, like all car mfg’s have info online.

      Dealership sales people are like water – they follow the path of least resistance to make a sale- period. Because that is how they get a paycheck. I’d do the same thing, thats how the Dealership is set up. Tesla staff are all on salary. They educate – they don’t sell.

      Welcome to the future.

  • jonny

    Anyone wants to call legislators? First thing I will do tomorrow morning. This company is the best fresh air I have seen and jealous protectionists should not attempt to disturb it.

  • guest

    I’m all for Tesla, but I bought my all electric car from a middle-man; cheaper than a Tesla (not as sexy) and in Washington state. In fact Nissan has sold more Leafs than Tesla has the S. You all have bad points.

    • http://www.savannahbrentnall.com/ Savannah Brentnall

      That’s like saying that there are more Ford Fiestas on the market than Mercedes S classes. It may be true, but it’s entirely irrelevant.

    • Mr. Steve

      And (knowing that the Prius is not total electric) the Prius has sold more than all the leafs out there. So what is your point?

    • jonny

      Enjoy your ugly Leaf. I am waiting for my Tesla.

    • Phil11

      Cheap cars always sell more than expensive cars. Your point is brain-dead.

    • Konstantin Ignatyev

      If you could buy Leaf directly from Nissan you would pay less. Why did you enjoy paying few thousand to folks adding no value?

  • Jim5437532

    I don’t think Tesla should be banned from doing Internet sales, but I do think it should be required to have a dealer and service center in every state it sells cars in. I think it is unfair business practices, to sell cars and not give them proper service and support.

    The software update that was part of the Tesla model S. recall that was supposed to “fix” Tesla’s fire hazard hasn’t worked too well. He Tesla charge connectors are still overheating, melting and burning. Some Tesla owners are claiming that the software update actually increases the fire hazard in some cases by increasing the current when a fault is detected.

    The Tesla model S. still has defects that make it a fire hazard. Tesla charger connections are still overheating, melting and burning. Tesla is Junk.

    On 1/9/2014 Elon Musk said that replacement adapters that are part of the recall would be mailed out within two weeks. A month later Tesla customers have still not received the replacement adapters that are part of the Tesla model S. recall.

    Several people have been injured by faulty Tesla charge connectors. Tesla is big on making promises and hype, but short on delivery. Tesla needs to start making safety a top priority. Tesla needs to stop playing blame games and games with semantics. Tesla needs to stop lying. Tesla needs to be proactive instead of reactive. Tesla is being a follower of technology, rather than a leader. Tesla is a greedy corporation that has a disregard for safety. The Tesla model S. is an E-Pinto..

    • Kevin McCarthy

      I call bullshit on you “Jim”.

      Your post here reads like talking points from whatever trade group you’re working for.

    • 772

      Lay off the haterade buddy

    • My2Cents2013

      Jim -not sure what your smoking but it’s good be some good stuff to come up with this crap you are spitting out. You points are so far off they don’t warrant a serious reply

    • http://www.savannahbrentnall.com/ Savannah Brentnall

      Which oil company/car company/lobbying organization do you work for? Or are you just spreading lies for the fun of it?

      • Tom King

        Please don’t bother with this guy, he copy and pasted the exact same garbage on other sites….

    • orbitly

      You don’t know what you’re talking about.

      “I do think it should be required to have a dealer and service center in every state it sells cars in. I think it is unfair business practices, to sell cars and not give them proper service and support.”

      They have plenty of service centers, and provide roadside assistance with Tesla rangers that pick your car up and leave you with a top of the line loaner no matter where you are.

      “The software update that was part of the Tesla model S. recall that was supposed to “fix” Tesla’s fire hazard hasn’t worked too well. He Tesla charge connectors are still overheating, melting and burning. Some Tesla owners are claiming that the software update actually increases the fire hazard in some cases by increasing the current when a fault is detected.”

      There was one issue before the recall of the home charging unit. The issue was not with the Tesla charger but rather the home wiring. The replacement unit prevents shotty home wiring from overheating the Tesla charger. I follow r/teslamotors and get basically every Tesla headline in my reddit feed. Haven’t heard anything about replacement chargers having issues.

      “The Tesla model S. still has defects that make it a fire hazard. Tesla charger connections are still overheating, melting and burning. Tesla is Junk.”

      Saying it over and over again doesn’t make it true.

      “Several people have been injured by faulty Tesla charge connectors.”

      “Tesla is big on making promises and hype, but short on delivery.”
      How so?

      “Tesla needs to start making safety a top priority.”

      They are the manufacturer of the safest car ever made.

      “Tesla needs to stop playing blame games and games with semantics.”


      “Tesla needs to stop lying. Tesla needs to be proactive instead of reactive. Tesla is being a follower of technology, rather than a leader. Tesla is a greedy corporation that has a disregard for safety.”

      This I just don’t get. Are you trolling?

      “The Tesla model S. is an E-Pinto..”


      • Jim5437532

        You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        The Tesla is already an overpriced vehicle. Ranger service is an extra cost. There are not enough Tesla service centers. Often customers, tow trucks or Ranger service has to drive for hours which can add days to repair time.

        I’d like to see you pay a tow bill for several hundred miles and several hours. Then have to find someone to drive you several hours to pick up your car when it is done. See if you think it is still a convenience not to have a service center nearby. ;)

        Do you think Tesla customers are happy having a fire hazard in their garage, putting their home and family at risk? Do you think customers are happy that Tesla and Elon Musk are dragging their feet on the recall and putting safety as a low priority?

        • Douglas Hamner

          Wow the paid troll is here too…you guys ought to search this guys username….every Tesla board and comments section. I wish I had a job like yours…trolling…posting misinformation and being a shill for the other auto companies

          • jonny

            This type of people have no chances though. It is so obvious this poster has an agenda. It is awful.

        • Phil11

          You are lying again.

          The Tesla is much less of a fire risk than any gas car.
          Your lie has been proved.

          Teslas are fully guaranteed. No one is paying towing bills.
          Your lie has been proved.

          Tesla customers are the happiest customers as proven by the highest customer satisfaction rating in Consumer Reports history.
          Your lie has been proved.

          You need to apologize for all your incompetent lies, loser.
          We are all waiting.

    • Anon

      You had a busy few days “Jim” What does your firm get an hours for this work? I might want a sideline someday.

    • JackB125

      The statements in the above comment made by Jim5437532, are deliberately false and malicious with the intent to harm Tesla Motors. This is not a comment meant for discussion, it is libel. If there is a moderator watching these comments, this one should clearly be removed.

      • Jim5437532

        I am stating the truth, there is nothing liable about stating the truth. You are lying and committing liable. You are a criminal. You are violating TOS.

        • Phil11

          You are a proven liar by many people on many sites, loser.
          Your lies are childishly easy to prove.
          You haven’t the intelligence to fool a single person.
          You need to apologize for all your lies.
          We are all waiting, liar.

        • sranger

          You are obviously a PPL. “paid professional liar”

    • jai9001


      I think it would be helpful if you tried to back up your points with some facts and also, to clarify why you have such a grudge against Tesla. Tell us who you work for. You are clearly not an unbiased observer.

      “Several people have been injured by faulty Tesla charge connectors.”

      Prove it!!

      I am an extremely happy Model S owner. I ordered my car in early 2013 on the Tesla website. It was an absolute pleasure and so much nicer than dealing with horrible dealerships.

      I live over 300 miles from the nearest Tesla service center and have had no problems.

      For my annual service, a Tesla ranger will service and inspect my car in my office’s parking lot. How much more convenient can that be?

      • Jim5437532

        You wouldn’t be so ignorant if you would do research.

        At least one of the injuries by the overheating Tesla charge connectors has been reported by the media. A firefighter that was injured responding to the Tesla garage fire is documented in the fire departments report. The fire department ruled that the Tesla universal mobile charger was a possible source of the fire. Several injuries has been reported to Tesla and on the Tesla forum and on the Tesla motors forum.


        • jai9001


          You seem angry. This issue seems to bother you more than just for an interesting discussion.

          What do you do for a living? Are you involved with a dealership? Do you work for another car company?

          Do you own TSLA shares short?

          Most owners of the vehicle are extremely happy with the service they receive from Tesla. It is the most amazing car I have ever owned, and I have owned several high-end vehicles.

          Why does consumer choice bother you? If you want to buy your car from a dealership, go for it. I’m not stopping you.

          Why do you want to prevent me from buying a car directly from the manufacturer?
          The free market will settle this issue. If Tesla provides its owners with terrible service, then people will stop buying Teslas and the company will fail. End of story.

          If people think the dealership model adds intrinsic value to their buying experience, they are welcome to continue buying their cars the old fashioned way.

        • Phil11

          There is no proof in the article – just a link to page that says nothing about a single injury let alone ‘multiple’.
          Where are the ‘multiple people’ you claimed, liar?
          You can’t even show one.
          You lies have been proved – again.
          Good job!

        • Ex-msft

          Preliminary estimates on deaths from all motor vehicles in 2013: about 30,000. Deaths in Teslas: 0. There are about 20,000 Teslas on the road, that’s a reasonable number for discussion. Vehicle fires (not including Tesla): every 3 minutes, 172k in 2012. Tesla fires in 2013 – 3 cars. Deaths from gas car fires: 300-400 every year, 0 in a Tesla. Teslas do have energy in their battery, and there is potential for someone to get hurt of course. They have special training videos and wires to cut to remove power from the batteries. It’s not impossible to be hurt in a T, it will happen

          Tesla is primarily a danger to car dealers. I doubt I’ll ever buy another car from one of those losers.

    • jonny

      We need to allow people to innovate. Not interested in your gestapo controlling world. Move to a socialist country and you will be happy.

    • Phil11

      You have been proven a liar and a troll by many people on many sites.
      I am about to prove you a liar again.
      No Tesla connectors have overheated since the software update. You are lying.
      Nobody is claiming the fire hazard has increased. You are lying.
      The Tesla is 6 time LESS LIKELY to have a fire than a gas car.
      It received the highest safety test scores in the history of the NHTSA.
      Saying the car is ‘junk’ is a lie.
      Tesla’s website clearly states new connectors will be sent in a few weeks from Jan 10th. They have missed no deadlines. You are lying.
      Several people were not injured. You are lying.
      With the highest crash test scores in NHTSA history and ZERO fatalities and serious injuries – a claim no other car manufacturer can make – Tesla has shown safety is a high priority. To say it isn’t and they have disregard for safety is yet another lie.
      The Pinto killed many people – the Tesla has not even seriously injured a single person. To call it a Pinto is another lie.
      I have just proved you a liar many times. It was easy.
      Show proof for your incompetent lies or admit you are a liar and apologize to everyone.
      We are all waiting.

    • sranger

      The dealer monopoly needs to go NOW!!!!!!!!!

      With the age of the internet, there is no need for dealers any more. They are just a middle man trying to tack on as much cost as possible while providing NO benifits to the consumer. Keep in mind when you do battle with a dealer to try and get a fair price THE ONLY THING YOU ARE NEGOATING ABOUT IS THE DEALERS PROFIT….

      Why should I have to give them ANYTHING????? They do nothing but irritate me for the privilege…

    • stainlesssteel

      Jim/Jim5437532 appears to be a desperate short, shotgun blasting anti-Tesla FUD. As of 14Feb2014 9:07am, Googling “Tesla is junk” with time range “past week” gives at least fifteen articles with the same cut-n-paste FUD comments containing this phrase.

      A Tesla Test Drive: Does the Model S Live Up to the Hype? – The Motley Fool

      What Is Tesla’s Greatest Threat? (TSLA) – The Motley Fool

      Tesla Ousts Mercedes as Consumer Reports Crowns EV the King of

      Report: Tesla Model X to come only in AWD – egmCarTech

      Would you sell your Tesla Model S for a profit? Electric superstar …

      Gut check time for Tesla shareholders – Torque News

      It’s Electric! Tesla Stock Soars to All-Time High – ABC News (“Tesla is junk” deleted but response still there)

      Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model X Pre-Orders Tally Rising Sharply – Valuewalk (“Tesla is junk” deleted but response still there)

      Tesla Stock Surges On China Subsidies – ValueWalk

      Tesla faces ban on new stores in Washington state – GeekWire

      A Tesla Test Drive: Does the Model S Live Up to the Hype? (TSLA)

      Tesla Motors: More Burning Questions – Stocks To Watch – Barrons …

      T-Mobile named among most innovative companies of 2014 … tmonews

      For executives, Twitter is a chance to serve the brand and show their …Automotive News

      Morning Buzz: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Campbell Soup ..

      Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Gained 5.94%; TSLA Stock …fxnewsrecall

  • jonny

    Just called and left a message to Washington legislators opposing these bills. Tesla is also creating jobs, but high tech jobs which are prosperous. I do not need dealers.

  • Greg Dove

    Besides Seattle where would you put a dealership in Washington? Who even knew about this Bellevue?

    • orbitly

      Seattle location is a service center, not a store. Their sole gallery is in the Bellevue mall.

      • Bumble

        Actually, there are 2 stores in WA. One in Seattle (used to be a service center, Service recently moved to a larger facility) and one in Bellevue.

  • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

    How, exactly, would this bill change the law to prevent Tesla from opening new showrooms? I’m trying to read the bills but I don’t speak legalese.

    The closest bit I can find begins on page 8 of SB-6272:

    p. 8
    29 Notwithstanding the terms of a franchise agreement, a
    30 manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or factory representative,
    31 or an agent, officer, parent company, wholly or partially owned
    32 subsidiary, affiliated entity, or other person controlled by or under
    33 common control with a manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or
    34 factory representative, shall not:
    p. 9
    36 (g) Compete with a new motor vehicle dealer of any make or line by
    37 acting in the capacity of a new motor vehicle dealer, or by owning,
    p. 10
    1 operating, or controlling, whether directly or indirectly, a motor
    2 vehicle dealership in this state.

    But then it goes on to say:

    p. 10
    2 It is not, however, a violation of
    3 this subsection for:
    p. 12
    12 (vi) A final-stage manufacturer to own, operate, or control a new
    13 motor vehicle dealership;

    So how exactly does that forbid Tesla from opening any new stores?

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      Hi Tim — It’s the underlined addition to Section 1, allowing a dealer license to be denied if “issuance of a new license or subagency would cause a manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or factory representative, or an agent, officer, parent company, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, affiliated entity, or other person controlled by or under common control with a manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or factory representative, to be in violation of chapter 46.96 RCW.”

      The effect is to keep new dealer licenses or “subagencies” from being given to auto manufacturers.

      The legislature has actually taken steps in the past to prevent new dealer licenses from being given to auto manufacturers, after the first Tesla stores opened here, but Tesla was still able to get a sublicense or “subagency” to open additional stores, using its existing license … but this would prevent that, as well, effectively shutting the door.

      • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

        Thanks for the explanation.

      • sfasdf

        Notice the government hasn’t discovered HTML yet, it refers to 46.96 RCW which could be a link or hover for summary but that would be too efficient.

      • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

        I don’t see that. 46.96 RCW http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.96 requires manufacturers to follow certain rules with respect to independent dealers (for example, not selling one dealer an exclusive license to a territory and then selling another dealership within that territory and not arbitrarily revoking a dealership that someone has purchased and invested in). But it doesn’t require manufacturers to have any independent dealers. I thinks this is FUD.

      • Ex-msft

        What we need are more dealerships (and more non-dealer sales channels), to reduce any power that existing dealers have. Just as we need more competition for the pointless state appointed liquor distributors.

      • dollared

        Bullshit. It does not shut the door. It just requires Tesla to operate on a level playing field with all the auto companies, who for 100 years have been legally prevented from owning their dealerships or undercutting their legally franchised dealers. Are Tesla’s cars so terrible that they can’t compete on a level playing field?

        • Curt Renz

          Henry Ford devised the idea of having car dealerships. He did not want to carry an inventory and attempt to sell it nationwide. He arranged contracts with dealerships. No special laws were required. Other automakers followed Ford’s lead, if that’s what you call making a level playing
          field. But innovative companies eventually unlevel playing fields. That’s what happens within a true free competitive enterprise system that makes America greater and consumers happier. Let’s keep this country a free one.

          Companies do not compete only on the basis of their products, but also their business models. Times change. Tesla has a business model designed to work with 21st century realities such as the internet. They have a product that requires minimal service or replacement parts, the life and blood of a franchised dealership.

          If Tesla’s business model is not accepted by consumers, then the company will either fail or be forced to franchise dealerships. Allow the free marketplace to determine that and not laws instigated by established protectionist forces determined to keep a new 21st century American business running in the outmoded manner of its 20th century competition.

  • greggottesman

    Tesla has built a great product that is winning early on in the marketplace. The company doesn’t need salespeople to convince you to buy a Tesla. It just wants to have a place where people can see the car and then order it online from home. I understand why Tesla’s direct competitors would want an interpretation of an old law to exclude this new type of business model. I hope our state, which prides itself on being at the forefront of innovation, will support competition and more efficient business models. Over time the vast majority of us will benefit from that approach.

    • My2Cents2013

      Well said Greg

  • http://www.matthewshobe.com/ mshobe

    Tesla’s product should be required to win on the merits of its safety, performance, and quality of design and manufacture. Considering Consumer Reports, Edmunds, and the even NHTSA have given the Model S the highest marks possible in their decades-long history of critical rating and review, the early evidence suggests the company has innovated and deserves a chance to compete on level terms. Any other considerations are just incumbents trying to use legacy law to hedge against upset to the status quo, as Greg Gottesman pointed out. As Greg also outlined, Washington state should be among the _last_ marketplaces in this country in which competitive, consumer-oriented companies should be stifled by protectionist, conventional lobbying.

    I eagerly await hearing what the bill sponsors have to say to justify their stance.

  • PaulScott58

    The legislature will be doing economic harm if they pass this bill. Electric cars run on local or regionally generated power. The money stays right there in your community. Better yet, Washington’s clean hydro power costs the equivalent of gas at about 50 cents a gallon. That’s over 80% savings to you. The average American will keep over a thousand dollars every year. Higher users will save much more. Most folks will spend that money on local goods and services generating jobs in your town.

    If everyone largly switched over to using electricity instead of oil, Washington would stop the flow of over $15 billion leaving the state to buy oil/gasoline. They have no domestic oil, it’s all imported. Those $15 billion would be spent in the state every year. This is the economic benefit of EVs that needs to be understood by any elected official voting to keep our EVs.

    • Mr. Steve

      No, the government, both feds and state, are going to ensure that electric owners pay as much tax as everyone else. Watch, this “tax per mile driven” will take hold, and everyone will be taxed beyond abilities to drive…siggggggghhhhhhhhh…

  • My2Cents2013

    Tesla doesn’t want to or need to add an unnecessary costs to the equation that the customer will have to stomach. Maybe that was necessary when the Auto Dealership network was created however times are changing. The Model S suggested maintenance is once a year and compared to all the hundreds of moving parts and components – Tesla has less than a dozen.
    Tesla is a game changing company and it is forcing others to step back and realize that the “old way of doing things” isn’t necessarily the best or only way.
    If Tesla had to use a independent dealerships for sales and service wanted to keep it’s current margins… the cost of the car service would have to increase dramatically to include the dealerships profit margin.
    The current Tesla model is working working quite well. It’s a win for the consumer and for Tesla.

  • http://eyejot.com/users/davidg davidgeller

    I’m sad to report that the Underwood Typewriter Company has lobbied to enact legislation limiting the future sales of all mobile phones and tablets until a network of stores can be established providing a robust supply of ribbons to the general public.

    • Ruwack

      that was funny.

  • Constitution_In_Crisis

    all it takes is ONE PERSON to kill a state bill if they speak with facts and with passion at a Public Hearing of the bill!! It can be done!!

    • Mr. Steve

      The head on down there, if you think you can stop the auto industry in their tracks…good luck. But watch your back afterwards.

      • Constitution_In_Crisis

        Watch my back? Are you kidding? The auto industry can’t even stay afloat without crying to the government begging for a bailout! It’s pitiful!

  • My2Cents2013

    Another thought… Why can’t the dealer associations understand that the dealership laws were enacted to protect the Ford dealer from being undercut by Ford’s selling directly to the consumer and putting the dealer out of business. Since Tesla has no dealership network (and doesn’t plan to start one), these confiscatory laws shouldn’t apply to Tesla.

  • Vroo (Bruce Leban)

    Reading the bill it appears to say:

    [Sec 6, pages 8/9] Notwithstanding the terms of a franchise agreement, a manufacturer [etc.] … shall not:
    (vi) A final-stage manufacturer to own, operate, or control a new motor vehicle dealership

    Yikes. How anti-competitive! But more careful reading reveals that it actually says the opposite:

    [Sec 6] Notwithstanding the terms of a franchise agreement, a manufacturer [etc.] … shall not:
    (g) Compete with a new motor vehicle dealer of any make or line by acting in the capacity of a new motor vehicle dealer, or by owning, operating, or controlling, whether directly or indirectly, a motor vehicle dealership in this state. It is not, however, a violation of this subsection for:
    (vi) A final-stage manufacturer to own, operate, or control a new motor vehicle dealership

    I don’t see how the proposed law has the effect Tesla is saying it does. If Tesla has independent dealers, then it’s reasonable for the state to regulate the relationship between the manufacturer and dealers as it has. If Tesla has no independent dealers, then no such regulation is necessary.

    That aside, it’s also reasonable for the state to mandate certain other things in the interest of public safety, for example, mandating that Tesla (or any manufacturer offering cars for sale in the state) have authorized service centers within the state and within a reasonable distance from the point of sale. What’s the problem?

  • Dsa

    The middleman is simply a thief. His job is to sucker you into spending money that you don’t need to. As with all criminals they’re always looking for a way to protect their interest. What kind of an American would stop another American from succeding in something that is good for the country? The same kind that give jobs to the third world countries (cheap labor) before taking care of the people in his own home! Tesla don’t give up your fight America has always come through for progress! We’re currently so dumbed down that we’re running a little behind. Basically like those so-call Americans in Washington, DC. We don’t eat our own!

  • Guest560

    Any time an industry group tries to limit the ways in which their products can be purchased, they do not have the consumer’s best interest at heart. Also, Tesla will overcome. This reminds me of when electronics retailers tried to stop apple from opening their own retail locations. Clearly afraid of loving money and clearly subverting the ‘free market’ that Texas and Ohio allegedly adore. Bottom line: $

  • dollared

    gosh, a company forced to fight on a level playing field. A tragedy. And I guess it’s just plain impossible for them to create franchised dealerships. Yup, they aren’t smart enough, I guess.

  • F9pro

    Do what many other businesses have done and open a store in POST FALLS…
    If Washington doesn’t want the business I am sure IDAHO would more than welcome it!

  • Disgusted
  • sranger

    The dealers better leave Tesla alone. Almost everyone hates the “dealership experiance” when buying a car. This battle with Tesla is only bringing that huge negative into the spotlight. The more people learn about these ridiculous dealrship laws, the more they are being questioned…

    They might buy off a few politicians to win a battle or two but they are definitely going to lose the war…..

    Tesla does not have any dealerships so there is nothing to protect…

  • S Bstr

    Someone should ask the sponsors of this legislation, do they see a problem with McDonald’s and Starbucks competing in the marketplace? Car dealers are like McDonald’s with franchisees that sell McD stuff, Tesla is like Starbucks which owns and operates each store staffed with its employees. If the food business can work, why can’t the auto business?

  • clibou

    Hope Governor Inslee has a veto pen.

  • ( )

    When you go to trade-in your Tesla where will you go if you do not want an electric car anymore?

    No traditional dealer will take it in trade. That would mean that Tesla must buy-back the car and recertify it as a safe car.

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