Ohio lawmakers are making a fresh attempt to outlaw Tesla Motors’ retail model — company-owned dealerships — after an unsuccessful try in December.
The proposal, Senate Bill 260, was introduced at the request of the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, whose members see Tesla as a threat to a system in which nearly all dealerships are independently owned franchises.
- Tesla’s direct sales model means the price is the same for every buyer and customers don’t need to shop around for the best deal.
- Ohio Automobile Dealers Association argues that independent dealers make more investment in showrooms and employ more than 50,000 people, working as consumer advocates with competitive pricing and on-site vehicle servicing.
- Dealers claim Tesla can gain an unfair advantage through direct sales.
- The Palo Alto-based startup has two showrooms in Ohio, though plans to adds a third have been stalled by the opposition.
- Tesla only sold approximately 300 cars in Ohio last year.
- In nearly every state, laws say that an automaker cannot compete at the retail level with its independent dealers.
- Tesla is exempt from many of those laws because the company has no independent dealers.