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

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2016 Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards

The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Franchise Education & Research Foundation is now accepting nominations for their Franchising Gives Back awards, honoring those franchise charitable or community-based programs with the greatest impact. Nominees are accepted through June 17, 2016 and are considered in five categories:

  • The program that best embodies the spirit of the award
  • The best new program
  • The most outstanding program of more than five years
  • The program that best supports our military
  • The innovative program that makes the most of limited resources

Nominees must be current IFA members or affiliated organizations. To nominate your 2015 charitable program, enter on the Franchising Gives Back site. Winning programs will be recognized at an awards celebration and dinner on Sept. 12 during the IFA’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

International Franchise Association’s Franchise Education & Research Foundation Announces Call for Nominations for 2016 Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards The Daily Meal Feb 19, 2016

Today’s Headline: Wage Law Heads to Supreme Court

“The International Franchise Association is appealing part of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law that it claims discriminates against franchise owners,” reports the Seattle Times.

The association lost to a federal appeals court panel last fall. The group’s original lawsuit was filed in 2014, arguing that franchises should be treated as small, locally-owned companies rather than enterprise-level companies with hundreds of employees.

The International Franchise Association President and CEO Robert Cresanti said, “Our appeal to the Supreme Court will be focused solely on the discriminatory treatment of franchisees under Seattle’s wage law and the motivation to discriminate against interstate commerce.”

Seattle has 30 days to respond to the petition. The Supreme Court is expected to decide this spring if they will hear the case.