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. ‚ÄčThat 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.

Filed Under: car dealerships, cars, competition, indiana, jim buck, kevin mahan
Companies: gm, tesla


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 3:57pm

    Bolt

    hehe, Tesla, I see what you did there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 4:40am

      Re: Bolt

      Uh, that's the actual name of a Chevrolet electric vehicle. They have a Volt currently (no pun intended) and the Bolt I believe is a larger model.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        ryuugami, 27 Feb 2016 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: Bolt

        An electric car named Volt...

        I can just imagine "who's on first"-class tech support calls about charging and voltage.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Feb 2016 @ 9:43am

        Re: Re: Bolt

        Not trying to be a know-it-all, but the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid. It can run on electric only, but also has an engine to recharge the batteries. The Bolt is/will be all electric.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 3:59pm

    It's a start

    I am of the opinion that every time a politician services their contributors rather than their constituents and/or violate their oaths of office they should be subjected to a whole lot of incivility, amongst other things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 8:27am

      Re: It's a start

      According to big corporate lobbyists whenever the people ask to actually be represented by government, the way a democracy is supposed to work, the people are then being uncivil. The civil thing to do is for us to just accept whatever corporate laws government imposes on us without saying anything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Reality Bites, 31 Mar 2016 @ 7:44am

      Is tarring and feathering incivil?

      The only thing dumber than the clowns in office are the losers that put them there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 4:40pm

    The Importance of news sites like TD

    When the light is turned on, the cockroaches scatter. Without the light from news sites like TechDirt, the cockroaches are free to scamper about and ruin your domicile. And what does it say about politics today that nearly everyone from the state level and up are so easily compared to cockroaches?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Feb 2016 @ 6:00am

      Re: The Importance of news sites like TD

      That for the most part We the People aren't paying enough attention. You've got to keep these people on a choke chain and be prepared to tug hard when they step out of line.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2016 @ 6:38pm

        Re: Re: The Importance of news sites like TD

        Wendy,
        Lots of us pay plenty of attention. It's cute that when people finally start to wake up they often say "people aren't paying attention". No, YOU aren't paying attention. What exactly do you suggest we do about this? How should I personally "tug hard" on the choke chain when they step out of line when they're not accountable to me, you, and rarely even the courts. The biggest criminals (see John Yoo) rewrite laws to suite their needs. WHAT DO I PERSONALLY DO ABOUT THIS? THERE IS NO CHOKE CHAIN TO PULL.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2016 @ 4:58pm

    whole lot of incivility

    yeah, where's vlad tepes when you really need him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Max, 28 Feb 2016 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      Yes. Because if we as humanity learned anything in the past few hundred years, it's that if you can cause grievous bodily harm to someone you don't like, you absolutely totally should...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    michael, 26 Feb 2016 @ 5:53pm

    Another one

    Another "small government" Republican.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 26 Feb 2016 @ 6:54pm

    People who are getting screwed should be more polite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Feb 2016 @ 9:50pm

    'Incivility' = 'The sheer gall of them!'

    'Those... those peasants! The audacity of them thinking they have the right to tell their betters how this state should be run!'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    KidOmaha (profile), 27 Feb 2016 @ 12:37am

    Insult to cockroaches

    As an Indiana constituent, and on behalf of cockroaches everywhere, I find it an insult to cockroaches that you would compare them to Indiana legislators!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 2:35am

    Tesla should set a 'dealership' where they pay ONE guy to rubberstamp all sales.
    Job done and finished.
    If GM objects, saying most of the work was the customer ordering online, the state should immediately and permanently order the blocking of ALL online pages related to cars and dealships which would fuck GM royally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      teka, 27 Feb 2016 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      There is a whole snakepit of laws in different states that make that difficult/impossible to implement. Tesla would run into everything from draconian franchise laws to regulators (who are beholden to the dealers) refusing to actually give them a license. IIRC Ford tried stepping into this fight in the nineties and was clobbered on a state and federal level.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 2:38am

    Gotta also remember GM sells the most dangerous cars ON EARTH.
    Higher rate of engine explosions, unexplained fires, deaths due to GM 'accidentally' missing out vital safety features (that were listed at time of sale) then bribing police to drop investigations.

    Also they have teams who 'dig up dirt' on the families of those Murdered by General Motors deliberate malfeasance and blackmail them into giving up legal cases.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 27 Feb 2016 @ 6:12am

    As a hoosier

    I am ashamed of my state leaders.

    they engage in cronyism protectionist laws (such as this) and call it fair competition.

    They tried to engage in laws to "preserve religious freedom" until the Mayor of Indy and Gencon, and a few others said, "No, we won't follow this law" or "We will be re-evaluating our future business with the state" (which is not a small amount of business)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2016 @ 7:05am

    it seems that every USA politician, in every town/city in every USA state cant wait to do something else to keep any form of fairness and competition from happening! there must be a hell of a lot of 'incentives' handed over every year to achieve this and there must have been a hell of a lot over the years considering there is basically no competition in anything and no new innovative ideas launched or even in the offing! 'the land of opportunity' seems to have been replaced by 'the land of stagnation'!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 29 Feb 2016 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      Bow to your corporate masters, citizen! When we blow the free market dog whistle, you will oppose any efforts made to crowbar the corporate money out of the hands of corrupt politicians.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2016 @ 6:34pm

    May I suggest that he's only caving due to the pressure from his wealthy business cronies who want to purchase their new toys.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:29am

    Gm wants government protection. Shameful, I agree. But how many cars would Tesla sell without government incentives?

    Paul Hein

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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