Anti-Tesla Bill Pops Up In Indiana

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 77

If Indiana pass the anti-Tesla bill, citizens of the state will have to travel elsewhere to purchase a Tesla vehicle.

If Indiana passes the anti-Tesla bill, citizens of the state will have to travel elsewhere to purchase a Tesla vehicle.

Indiana currently has a Tesla store, but no service center.

Indiana legislators have filed an anti-Tesla bill, prohibiting the sale of Tesla vehicles in the state. It specifically targets an all-electric automaker, but does not list Tesla’s name.

Republican Ed Soliday filed the controversial bill, that is obviously anti-Tesla, proven by a list of qualifications that only fit the long-range battery-electric automaker. Specifics apply to automakers that:

  • Have sold cars in Indiana since July 2015
  • Have never used a franchised dealership
  • Have sold more than 1,000 cars per year
  • Have had a dealer license for 6 years

Dealership owners claim that their largest concern is that others automaker’s will follow suit with Tesla’s direct sales model. Nick Dellen, president of the Greenfield-based Dellen Automotive Family shared:

“Tesla’s not the enemy. I’m afraid of so many ways that (Tesla’s business model) could go awry. I’m concerned that another company could be importing vehicles with no dealer system for dealerships.”

However, at this point, House Bill 1592 will only prevent Tesla from selling cars directly in Indiana. The way that the bill is set up, makes it so that it won’t affect any other companies. Another startup could set up shop in Indiana and this bill would not be able to stop them from directly selling vehicles. Despite this truth, Soliday has refused to talk about the issue, aside from admitting that he doesn’t have a better solution. He said:

“I wish we could take the Tesla name off it and (determine) what is the right way to regulate automotive sales in the state of Indiana going forward, and is there a transition to a brave new world. I don’t know the answer to that.”

Tesla is fighting back, as it is and has been in multiple states. The automaker created a website to initiate support. The site includes a wealth of specific information about the situation in Indiana, and has a link to sign the petition in support of Tesla. Check it out below:

WELCOME TO FREE MARKET INDIANA!

Indiana’s lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban Tesla from selling its innovative and sustainable vehicles directly to Hoosiers. It’s all about the free market. Help us put an end to this effort!

Source: IndyStar

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77 responses to "Anti-Tesla Bill Pops Up In Indiana"

  1. Big Picture says:

    I wonder if long term Tesla would really want company owned “dealers”. Let’s say that the Model 3 really takes off and they fulfill the 400,000 orders over a few years. And they are already hinting at SUV’s and trucks. Once you start getting over a million Tesla’s on the road, you are going to start getting maintenance issues. As cars get older, and new ones roll out, the Tesla service model will have to change. You can’t have stand alone company stores all over as the cost will skyrocket. Can you really subcontract with enough “Authorized” local mechanics? In they end Tesla may want to franchise a Tesla dealership to the likes of Keyes, or Rydell. Many large dealers in my area have multiple brands lined up next to each other. The have the infrastructure and shared services to keep cost lower. In Utopia, the Tesla system may work. But when you look long term it could turn into a disaster.

    1. Joe says:

      Tesla has built a huge network of Superchargers, (adding more every week). They’ve built the largest battery factory in the world. They already have hundreds of service centres in operation around the country and are adding more each month. I doubt if they will have any problems handling service.

      “big picture” which dealership do you work for?

      It’s all about the buying experience. You go in and place your order. You’re not pressed by some a__-hole trying to make his quota to make a large commitment on the spot. If car dealerships weren’t as unpopular as root-canals all this wouldn’t be an issue.

    2. przemo_li says:

      BS.

      This bill do NOT force Tesla to outsource repair shops on equal footing basis.

      This bill is about SALES, not repairs.

    3. John says:

      Electrek: “Tesla is working on opening up its service tools and helping owners repair their own cars with replacement parts”

      1. MikeG says:

        This is good news as Tesla service manuals are currently not avaiable to owners outside of Massachusetts. I hope that Tesla will improve access to service information and service tools for DIYers.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Big Picture said:

      “You can’t have stand alone company stores all over as the cost will skyrocket.”

      Why not? It works for Apple Computers, doesn’t it?

      Seems pretty basic finances. Number of company-owned stores scales up right along with sales scaling up. Where is the problem?

      “Can you really subcontract with enough ‘Authorized’ local mechanics?”

      Why would it be any harder to hire local mechanics to work at authorized stand-alone service centers than to hire those same local mechanics to work at the service department of a local dealership?

      Here in Kansas City, the local Tesla store and the authorized Tesla service center are co-located in the same building. No doubt that saves some on rent and the utility bills, but otherwise I can’t see that it matters either way.

      I don’t see any logic or reason in your arguments here.

      1. x says:

        because there is none.

      2. JIMJFOX says:

        Well put. His ‘argument’ is specious. Every motor manufacturer should have the right to sell direct.

        ‘Dealerships’ are required where many thousands of choices exist- but vehicles? NO. Exception- obviously, the used car market.

        Having had a lifetime of average-to-appalling treatment at independent dealerships I feel it is THEY who should be made illegal…

        Who is paying the piper for this nonsense?

  2. Goaterguy says:

    Took my Volt to the dealer and the first thing they come back with is the well known “could not reproduce the symptom” I told the service guy that I wanted to drive the car with the tech and within 30 seconds I could reproduce the problem doing exactly what I told them to do…

    No, yeah, dealers are great…

  3. no comment says:

    i haven’t read the article at the link referenced in this posting, but based on what is written here, the law appears to be patently unconstitutional. you can’t draft laws directed at specific parties because it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

    1. Rick (no, not that Rick) says:

      But that is exactly what Tesla wants. Laws that benefit them, to the exclusion of all other manufacturers who are stuck with the dealership model. Funny thing about the constitution…it is intended to work the same way for everybody.

      1. speculawyer says:

        When has Tesla every opposed other car makers being able to sell straight to the public?

        Never AFAIK.

      2. John says:

        It is my understanding that way-back-when the dealers fought for these laws to protect them from the manufacturers. Tesla has no dealers that need protecting. For this reason, I feel all of this is a non-issue.

        1. philip d says:

          Yes. The franchise laws were created in response to manufacturers not living up to their end of a bargain they made with the dealers.

          Unfortunately it just so happened that there were no major automakers at the time that were exclusively selling direct without dealers.

          If they existed these franchise laws would have been challenged in court if any attempt was made to force them to comply and we wouldn’t be having this discussion today.

          But they way history turned out it was just assumed from then on and reinterpreted through pressure from the dealer associations to mean that no new manufacturers if they ever came along could sell direct to the public without a dealer. The wording in many of the state franchise laws has even been slightly tweaked to say so.

          It’s like an ancient religious text where the original meaning has been lost through willful ignorance and re-translated over and over to distort the original meaning to fit the agenda of those doing the translating.

      3. Trollnonymous says:

        In this world of internet purchases, those laws are archaic. They even try and force additional cost or deny registration in states where the car is not purchased in. How stupid is that!!!

        1. no comment says:

          there is a big difference between buying a car and buying a pair of socks. cars, unlike socks, are subject to much more regulation. there are implications to the general public when it comes to operating a car that don’t apply when it comes to socks. that’s why it is not enough to just *sell* a car, there also has to be the means to provide ongoing customer support.

          1. Jason says:

            Just like Kmart sells socks, a dealer sells cars. They also service the cars. They have nothing to do with the manufacture of the car or compliance of the car. So it sort of is the same as selling socks.
            If you buy a Bolt then you can only get it from a certified Bolt dealer. If there is not one near you, tough luck. So here is the traditional model with dealer, but not all dealers have to sell all models. And you cannot get the Bolt serviced at any dealer, so really that model does not work for the consumer either.

          2. Trollnonymous says:

            At Costco and SAM’s club I can buy socks and a car.
            You can also buy oil, oil filter and tires there. Probably more but I haven’t been there in a while.

            I’m pretty sure everyone knows the difference between using socks and using a car.

            1. no comment says:

              what you don’t understand is that sam’s club is merely a front for the truecar dealership network. so while you may think that you are buying the car from sam’s club, you’re actually buying the car from truecar. sam’s club itself is not an auto dealer.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                So what’s your point?

                Yes, Tesla does need service centers so customers can be assured of getting proper service for their cars. According to some recent news articles, Tesla needs to build out new service centers faster than they are now doing.

                But what does that have to do with the subject of this article, which is State protectionist laws which are being misused to prevent Tesla from directly competing with legacy auto dealerships? Laws which are being misused in a manner never intended when originally passed.

                Nothing! Your comments have nothing at all to do with the subject at hand.

                Your post, just like far too many from you, amounts to nothing but “concern troll” Tesla bashing.

          3. SJC says:

            The point being that dealers do safety checks add upgrades and perform RECALLS. How is Tesla going service recalls on 500,000 M3s, at supercharger stations?

            1. Trollnonymous says:

              You act like Tesla has no service centers at all and have no plans to open any new ones when Model 3 arrives.

              1. no comment says:

                the problem occurs when the service center is hundreds of miles away from where the car owner lives.

                granted there is a measure of dealer self-interest at work. but some of these laws do have a consumer protection aspect in that they protect the consumer from manufacturers who will sell them cars and then leave them on a lurch when it comes to service and support. only an EV enthusiast would not find it problematic to have to ship his car hundreds of miles away to be serviced.

                1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  More “concern troll” comments.

                  If a potential auto buyer doesn’t have a Tesla service center within several hundred miles of his home, then perhaps he should take that into consideration when making a buying choice.

                  Every small-volume auto maker is going to have the same problem with scattered service center locations. Is Tesla now going to be required to collapse space and time, shrink the size of the planet, because a concern troll is “oh so concerned” about a Tesla car buyer who lives hundreds of miles away from the nearest service center?

                  I hope that Tesla’s Model 3 is a roaring sales success. If so, that will mean a lot more Tesla service centers will be opening up everywhere. So those places where it is “hundreds of miles” to the nearest Tesla service center are going to get fewer and fewer.

                  And if not, well then those isolated Tesla buyers will be no worse off than if they had bought a Ferrari or Lamborghini or Bugatti. I note your lack of “concern trolling” about isolated customers of gasmobile supercars.

              2. SJC says:

                Here is the list of Tesla service centers.

                https://www.tesla.com/findus/list/services/United+States

                Notice ONE in Denver, Colorado is a big state.
                You can say they will build more, but where is the announcement of how many, where and when?

        2. Jason says:

          That’s an interesting aspect of denial of registration. Pity the poor folks who move to that state, can’t bring your car with you.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            If Indiana did that, then it really would give Tesla a solid Federal case, under the interstate commerce clause.

            Here’s hoping that the State auto dealers’ association is foolish enough to lobby for that! But I doubt they’re really that clueless.

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Rick (no, not that Rick) said:

        “But that is exactly what Tesla wants. Laws that benefit them…”

        WTF?

        When has Tesla ever, ever advocated or lobbied for a change to laws which would make it harder for its competitors to sell cars?

        The only laws which Tesla has lobbied to change are those which unfairly keep Tesla from being able to compete on a level playing field.

        Rick, the apparent assumptions/premises behind your assertions here are so very biased that I have to ask: Do you, yourself, work for an auto dealership, or are you financially dependent on someone else who does? Because I can’t imagine that anyone who doesn’t fit one of those categories would try to misrepresent reality in such a very biased manner.

        1. philip d says:

          What I always find interesting in these discussions is how the pro-dealer argument extols the virtues of dealers like consumer advocacy and convenience of service and that dealers are all around a superior and more sustainable system compared to manufacturer sales and service centers.

          But then in the same breath they claim that Tesla just wants to gain an advantage over the competitors that are hamstrung by this superior dealer model.

          So does Tesla has an advantage because the dealer model is more expensive and adds more cost and less convenience to buying and maintaining a car or not?

          The argument inevitably devolves into the claim that the advantage for Tesla is that their manufacturer sales and service model is cheaper because they don’t have to have as many and don’t care about their customers and that dealers act as some benevolent advocate.

          This would only remotely be slightly plausible if there was only one monopolistic automaker that had no other competition that customers could simply buy from if they were unhappy with that manufacturer’s sales and service centers.

          The free market will protect the customer from being ripped off by a manufacturer that doesn’t take care of it’s customers. And if all the car companies attempted to do this in a free market it would clearly be some sort of collusion which is illegal and would be very hard to coordinate and hide among a dozen global auto manufacturers.

  4. speculawyer says:

    Another “free market”, “small government”, and “anti-regulation” Republican, I see. *eyeroll*

    1. Kdawg says:

      Yeah, is this the part where we are supposed to boycott everything from Indiana now? They are a big pharmaceutical state. So everyone.. stop taking your meds!

      (sarcasm)

      1. Trollnonymous says:

        Isn’t that how it works here in the US?

        You company doesn’t vocally support Transgender bathrooms. LET’S BOYCOTT THEM!

        Your company donated to ….LET’S BOYCOTT THEM!

        Your great great grandparents inlaws owned slaves….LET’S BOYCOTT THEM!

        We don’t agree with you……LET’S BOYCOTT THEM!

        1. Kdawg says:

          I was referring to all the “GM crushed the EV1!” or “GM bailout took my tax dollars”, people

          1. Kdawg says:

            Oh, and “GM is passing laws to ban Tesla! Let’s boycott”.

        2. super390 says:

          How is a boycott different than consumer choice in a free market? Isn’t this exactly why libertarians claim that we need no government punishment of polluting corporations because “public anger” will lead to sales drops?

          Oh, but now corporations have infinitely complex ownership and supplier arrangements making infinitely complex products so that no one can be proven responsible for anything. And it turns out that the power to boycott does not rest with America’s vast apolitical masses, but only people who have BOTH money and causes they’re willing to sacrifice for. Which feeds the polarization of politics.

          You failed to mention any right-wing examples, like gun extremists successfully threatening to boycott any gun manufacturer who even offers the OPTION of electronic ID systems on its guns, because the very existence of the technology might enable governmental demands.

  5. Trollnonymous says:

    Ed Soliday = A warm bag filled with vinegar, water and providone-iodine 3% used in the evening in summer.

    1. JeffD says:

      Ha Ha, nice. I find it interesting that his excuse is that he doesn’t really want to hurt Tesla, but he can’t think of another way. Apparently he is not thinking hard enough

  6. ffbj says:

    Probably sponsored by GM, as was the last bill that attempted to do this.

    1. Trollnonymous says:

      Yup, the same clowns “Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers” asking Trump to roll back emissions standards….

      the members….
      https://autoalliance.org/connected-cars/automotive-privacy-2/participating-members/

      Every product you buy from those members helps fund their efforts against Tesla and the environment.

      1. ffbj says:

        I was seriously considering a Bolt, but last year when GM tried this, they are so predictable, in IN, and failed, I knew they would be back. Well at least a bill would. If I find they had their fingers in the pie again, well…

        No Bolt for me. I mean in the bigger picture it’s not about GM or Tesla, it’s about putting evs on the road, and GM is trying to stop the parade by attacking the premier maker of evs, so, I am done with them.

        Here’s something of interest in self driver where Tesla is clearly at the head of the spear:
        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-01/tesla-is-testing-self-driving-cars-on-california-roads

        1. Trollnonymous says:

          That’s why I’m in the Model 3 line and voting with my wallet.
          The Bolt is appealing but after going to see it, it reminds me of the Honda Fit.
          Plus I’m not a hatchback fan and hoping for the AWD Model 3.

          1. Kdawg says:

            But Elon Musk supports big oil, Russian puppet, Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. BOYCOTT TESLA!

            1. philip d says:

              I think Elon is just as stunned as all the others that a wildly unpredictable orange man with cotton candy hair can destroy everything he’s worked for with one stroke of the pen and a 35% auto tariff.

              I think he’s there because he has no choice and is trying to salvage the situation. I think in this situation the motive is pretty clear.

            2. super390 says:

              I’m sure Mary Barra is trying every bit as hard as Musk to kiss the Emperor’s ass. She’s at a disadvantage because Trump is a total misogynist.

              The real nightmare is that they are behaving rationally under the circumstance of an out-of-control tyrant who rules arbitrarily. The corporations were already our aristocracy. In Europe aristocrats preferred to oppress and exploit the peasants as a coalition, but when kings managed to become more powerful, the aristocrats became courtiers, meaning flatterers, protecting their interests by manipulating foolish kings in every possible way. Lobbyists pestering legislators will be replaced by courtier-CEOs speaking directly to an absolute ruler.

        2. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “No Bolt for me. I mean in the bigger picture it’s not about GM or Tesla, it’s about putting evs on the road, and GM is trying to stop the parade by attacking the premier maker of evs, so, I am done with them.”

          “it’s about putting evs on the road,”

          Doesn’t buy Bolt do that? But you would prefer it is Tesla rather than GM brand. So you are partial.

          Maybe I should boycott Tesla because he endorses oil tycoon for our Sec of State?

          Geez, just admit that you never really wanted the Bolt anyway. I can trace your hatred toward GM EVs easily 3 years back…

          1. ffbj says:

            No Bolt was conditional if GM was sponsoring another, of the number of bills, they have been behind to stop Tesla, thereby stopping the only maker of premier electric vehicles, thereby attempting to thwart Telsa’s ability to sell evs which is counter to what I think needs to happen. More evs on the road.

            Competition is good. It improves the product and the offerings. GM’s attempt to hamstring the competition through legislation, of which they are completely guilty, hurts competition.

  7. Will Davis says:

    Watching American politics play out is like watching a toddler playing with a mains socket

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Make some popcorn, pull up a chair, enjoy the show.

      Unfortunately, being caught up in the show isn’t nearly as entertaining. 🙁

      1. philip d says:

        Unfortunately the whole World is in this particular show.

    2. super390 says:

      In 1930 the US Congress passed a hike in tariffs to protect US farmers which triggered a global cascade of retaliation and imperial trade blocs, leaving Germany and Japan bankrupt and angry.

      So the US caused World War 2.

      Imagine how much more damage we can do now.

  8. Hauer says:

    Again: If somebody goes to a multi brand dealer to buy an electric car the dealer will do everything to sell an ICE because of service/repair business.

    (Audi is now starting to educate dealers to sell BEVs. Will take a long time. Most likely has to involve bonus plans etc.)

    Of course this bill is simply byzantine. Third world level. At best.

  9. Some Guy says:

    Dealerships do employ people in sales, accounting, parts departments, and service departments.

    1. John in AA says:

      Your point?

    2. philip d says:

      So does a Tesla service center and corporate office.

  10. Jason says:

    Dealer model: Owner (some person, possibly owns a lot of the dealerships in town, why isn’t that an issue?), managers, mechanics, sales people, finance, admin, cleaners, etc.
    Tesla model: Owner (Tesla), managers, mechanics (and I guess electricians), sales people (still got a show room), (finance probably done centrally), admin, cleaners, etc.
    From the employment point of view the owner is the real difference, otherwise probably much the same.
    Future: find the car you like, place an order online, car arrives in your drive way one day (autonomous driving). Now you just need a service centre. Do any of these laws prevent Tesla (or any manufacturer) operating a service centre (repair shop), or is it really the sales aspect in question?
    I doubt they can prevent a repair shop as you can get your vehicle repaired by any one, not just a dealer.

    1. Nix says:

      The locally owned car dealership is a dying breed too. Now, by sales volume, the majority of cars sold are sold by large multi-state multi-dealership corporate entities, like Penske and Autonation. So even that one layer of ICE cars being “local” isn’t as local as it used to be.

      If they wanted to increase local owned business, they would need to ban multi-state corporate car dealerships from selling cars in their state.

      1. ffbj says:

        and Costco, Walmart recently announce they would be getting into the car business. I think Buffet owns some big auto sales company.

    2. John in AA says:

      I can’t speak to other states, but Michigan law now prevents a manufacturer, notably including Tesla, from owning and operating a service center.

  11. Leptoquark says:

    Here’s where a tweet from Trump might actually do some good. Since Elon now has access to Trump, he should give Trump a piece of his mind. American manufacturing, American jobs….

    1. philip d says:

      Trump isn’t looking for much advice. He’s looking more for confirmation when he makes a knee-jerk decision. He’ll certainly take the photo ops with Musk around a big round table but when it comes time he’ll cast him aside.

  12. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Can’t Elon just call Trump directly like Trump said in that meeting?

    So, Trump can either tweet about it or tell Pence to go back to IN and fix it…

    Elon, time to cash in some of that political capital you are trying to save up.

  13. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “House Bill 1592 will only prevent Tesla from selling cars directly in Indiana. The way that the bill is set up, makes it so that it won’t affect any other companies.”

    Let’s hope that the bill doesn’t become a law. But if it does, then I hope what is said in that quote is entirely true. Because if it is, then Tesla should easily be able to have the law thrown out if, or rather when, it sues the State.

    1. ffbj says:

      Looks like they may grandfather Tesla in. Not sure if that is true, a reaction to the swelling outrage or what?

  14. Steven says:

    As I understand it, dealership associations were established to prevent manufacturers from undercutting existing dealerships.

    Since there are no Tesla dealerships, there’s no one to undercut.

    If the law was being written to protect existing dealership networks, it could have said that only manufacturers who exclusively build BEV’s and no other type of vehicle were exempt. So as it is, it seems to be written to prevent one manufacturer from doing business in that state. So much for not picking winners and losers.

    1. philip d says:

      A lot of these franchise laws are like ancient religious scripts. Their original meaning has willfully been lost and it has been rewritten and reinterpreted to fit the agenda.

  15. Loboc says:

    Indiana is a funny case. They even ban daylight savings time. But only in half the State.

    1. philip d says:

      LOL. I grew up in that half.

    2. philip d says:

      I just looked it up and apparently they finally decided to do away with that in 2006.

  16. Mister G says:

    I love it when Americans claim to be “free market” proponents as they drive on government highways, learn at government schools, depend on government military, depend on government police/fire services, visit government libraries, fly in at government airports, use government airport security, sign up for a government pension/Healthcare during senior years…FREE MARKET MY ARSE…if you want free market live in a failed state like Somalia.

  17. Chris says:

    My sister happens to be a Indiana sate representative, I forwarded it to her for a comment on chances for passage.

    I’m, constantly calling her out for the hypocrisy of many of her fellow republican party members. I’m pretty sure she would vote against it but you never know. She is aware of Tesla and electric cars, she helped me buy a used Volt off her local dealer when I was in the process of moving back from Australia and she liked riding driving it. Her district is covered with windmills so she is very pro-wind energy.

  18. Ron M says:

    The GOP claims to be the party of choice but it actually only wants to protect the status quo. Fossil Fuels Utilities Car Dealership.
    There war on immigrates the environment is despicable. 40% of the new business that grew to a billion dollars in the past few decades was started by immigrants that went to graduate school in the united States

  19. ffbj says:

    Quashed: “After a public hearing yesterday where several consumers and Tesla representatives expressed their concerns over the bill, they introduced a new amendment that “grandfathered in” Tesla. The house bill 1592 was then approved 9-1 in the Roads and Transportation committee earlier this morning.” –Electek

    1. ffbj says:

      The gist:
      (c) A manufacturer may engage in sales directly to the general
      11
      public in Indiana only if:
      12
      (1) the manufacturer was granted an initial license to sell new
      13
      motor vehicles before July 1, 2015; and
      14
      (2) the manufacturer establishes at least one (1) physical
      15
      location in Indiana that is a warranty repair service center
      16
      before January 1, 2018
      (Telsa has plans to build one there).

  20. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯sven says:

    Finally a state to be a model, we need to stop Tesla’s unfair practices that destroy honest automakers and dealers.

    1. speculawyer says:

      Is this a serious post?

    2. super390 says:

      How can you protect something that doesn’t exist?

  21. Robert says:

    I am all for more competition in the marketplace. Soliday should promote business not limit it.

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