Tesla Fan 'Incivility' Forces Indiana To Back Off Direct Sales Ban… For Now
from the lessons-never-learned dept
We recently noted how Indiana was just the latest state to try and pass auto industry-backed bills banning Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model. Under the latest GM-backed bill, Tesla’s dealer license would have expired in 2018, forcing the company to embrace the traditional franchise dealership model — or stop selling cars in the state entirely. Telsa had been reaching out for the last few weeks to Tesla fans in the state, quite-correctly highlighting how GM was buying protectionist law instead of competing.
Apparently the public attention worked, as the Indiana Senate Commerce and Technology Committee has tabled the bill for the time being, meaning Telsa can continue operating its showroom in the state — at least until the bill is reconsidered next year. Amusingly, one of the bill’s key supporters, Senator Jim Buck, says he received some “incivility” from Tesla fans because of his proposal:
Buck on Thursday opened the committee hearing by saying he has been on the receiving end of “incivility” from Tesla supporters this week, as the bill received national attention. Buck and the bill’s author, Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, agreed to put the issue before a study committee. ?That means the legislature won’t consider a ban on direct auto sales until at least next year. “We are trying to make what we are doing here fair to all,” Buck said.
Right, what Buck experienced wasn’t incivility (though I’m sure the e-mails weren’t particularly nice), it was the public telling Buck clearly to stop being a protectionist jackass willing to shovel forth horrible legislation at the behest of legacy industry lobbyists. While Buck’s at it, he may want to avoid adding insult to injury by trying to falsely equate protectionist cronyism with “fairness.” Telsa has made it pretty clear that GM’s bill is predominantly aimed at lessening the competitive threat faced by its upcoming electric car, the Chevy Volt:
“General Motors is trying to kick us out of the state for purely competitive reasons,” said Todd Maron, general counsel for Tesla. “Their Chevy Bolt will be competing against our mass-market car, so they have timed this bill specifically so once we start selling the Model 3 against their Bolt, we can no longer sell in the state.”
That this kind of nonsense persists in state after state says volumes of the integrity of the state legislative process, and the politicians that pay endless lip service to competition and innovation, yet do their best to hamper it if the price is right. Again, if you’re a politician looking to avoid public “incivility,” one easy way to accomplish this is to stop letting legacy industries write shitty state law.