Tesla and the Auto Franchising Debate

The issue of auto franchising is front and center in Connecticut. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk introduced a bill to allow electric car manufacturers to sell their vehicles directly to Connecticut consumers. The bill limits electric car manufacturers to three Connecticut stores.

This is a change from the current system that requires all car manufacturers to apply for a franchise license and offer vehicle servicing. The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association (CARA) wants electric car manufacturer Tesla to be held to the same standards and requirements as other car companies. CARA President James Fleming said. “We would welcome (Tesla) to join us in the franchise system today, as we have asked them over the past couple of years when they’ve come in to visit the state of Connecticut.”

CARA, the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, and General Motors joined to make the statement that the state’s auto franchise system is effective and special treatment should not be given. “What we want to make sure we have is one set of regulations for everybody who’s going to compete in this marketplace,” said Landon Fulmer, vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers. “We don’t need carve-outs, we don’t need loopholes. We need to make sure everybody plays by the same rules.”

Watch and see whether Tesla and other electric car manufacturers will be given special treatment.

Auto Retailers, Makers Call on Tesla to Apply for Franchise The CT Mirror Mar 1, 2016