Joint news release from automobile retailers:
The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA), the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and General Motors held a press conference today to assert their opposition to proposed legislation providing Tesla Motors with exclusive rights to sell directly to consumers. Senate Bill 3, AN ACT CONCERNING THE LICENSING OF NEW AND USED CAR DEALERS, would allow Tesla to bypass the dealer franchise statutes under which all other automobile dealers and manufacturers must operate.
“This bill creates an unfair playing field for Tesla,” said Jim Fleming, of CARA. “Granting Tesla a corporate loophole will circumvent longstanding consumer protections and jeopardize local businesses that have operated under these laws in good faith for over 40 years.”
“The Auto Alliance represents companies that have done business in Connecticut for a century, and that business has been done efficiently through its network of auto dealers,” said Landon Fulmer of the Alliance. “Any industry wants all actors who operate in their sector to be treated equally under the law. Unfortunately, this bill provides a loophole for operations that benefit only one company. There are other states where Tesla has agreed to play by the rules we all abide by. The same should apply in Connecticut.”
“GM welcomes robust competition in the electric vehicle marketplace,” said Chris Grimaldi of General Motors. “But this bill creates two different sets of laws governing vehicle manufacturers in Connecticut. All manufacturers should play by the same rules.”
“That Tesla needs an exception to the franchise law because they sell electric vehicles doesn’t compute to me because we are already selling electric vehicles through the franchise system under numerous manufacturer’s brands in Connecticut today,” said Tamera Jackson of Jackson Chevrolet. “Tesla could do the same as quickly as it would take to sign a dealer agreement.”
CARA, the Alliance, and GM will all be testifying before the Transportation Committee on Wednesday, March 2nd.