Tesla Wins For Now in North Carolina Dealer Battle, But It’s Not Over Yet

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 3

Tesla Vows to Fight to Keep Stores Like This Operation in All States They're Located In

Tesla Vows to Fight to Keep Stores Like This Operation in All States They’re Located In

In May, the North Carolina General Assembly approved Senate Bill 327 and sent it to the Senate floor where it passed by unanimous vote.  From there, the bill head to the House of Representatives for a final vote.  That bill is now dead or, more precisely, has been split in two.

Had it passed in its original form, North Carolinians would have been prohibited from purchasing the Model S electric sedan from Tesla directly or Tesla would have been required to switch to a traditional private dealership model to sell in the state.  The last option for Tesla would have been to exit North Carolina entirely.

CEO Elon Musk Vows To Make A Larger Personal Effort Talking Up Tesla's Reasoning Behind Going It Alone When It Comes To Sales

CEO Elon Musk Vows To Make A Larger Personal Effort Talking Up Tesla’s Reasoning Behind Going It Alone When It Comes To Sales

None of that’s going to happen right now.

When the bill hit the House, it appeared unlikely it would pass.  Therefore, North Carolina legislators decided to split it in two.

As Automotive News reports:

“Several elements of the original bill, deemed noncontroversial by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, were attached to an unrelated bill that is moving forward. That amended bill was passed out of a House committee on Tuesday and is slated for a vote on the House floor on Thursday.”

It’s believed that bill will pass with ease.  It includes “warranty reimbursement, loaner vehicles and training,” says Automotive News.

But remember, the bill was split in two, so that “Tesla bill” is still out there.  The split doesn’t mean the end of the challenge for Tesla.

Tesla Owners Line Up Their Model S Sedans At The Texas Capitol In Support Of Hearing For HB 3351 in Texas Earlier This Year

Tesla Owners Line Up Their Model S Sedans At The Texas Capitol In Support Of Hearing For HB 3351 in Texas Earlier This Year

Robert Glaser, president of the North Carolina dealers association, stated:

“The Tesla bill is still alive and well.  We have to work with the leadership of the House to get the bill heard in the House.”

It seems likely that the bill will resurface next May when the state’s legislators are back in session.

Even Tesla doesn’t see this as a clear win yet.

Tesla Model S On The Open Road

Tesla Model S On The Open Road

Tesla spokeswoman, Shanna Hendriks, had this to say:

“We’re working under the assumption that it’s not dead.  Anything is possible in this catfight, but we’re optimistic.”

At least it seems Tesla now has almost one year before it has to revisit this issue in North Carolina.

Source: Automotive News

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3 responses to "Tesla Wins For Now in North Carolina Dealer Battle, But It’s Not Over Yet"

  1. kdawg says:

    LOL @ “catfight”

    1 year off until round 2. It’s like the Superbowl. I’m guessing the extra time will be in Tesla’s favor. That’s another year for the public to get educated about electric vehicles and the practices of the NADA.

    1. KenZ says:

      And another year for people in NC to buy Teslas as fast as possible…

      1. Steven says:

        And the more that are sold, will generate more interest, more interest equals more demand. A better question is: Can public demand trump the dealers lobby?