Michigan Governor Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Bill Into Law (w/video)


Michigan Is Home To Zero Tesla Stores

Michigan Is Home To Zero Tesla Stores – No Need To Show The Upper Peninsula, As It’s Unlikely Tesla Will Ever Require A Store There

It was immediately clear to us that Tesla wouldn’t stand a chance in Michigan and that was confirmed just after noon time today when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the anti-Tesla direct sales bill (HB5606) into law.

Tesla called upon everyone to assist the automaker in this battle, even getting its Michigan-based suppliers to hound Governor Snyder, but in the end the legislation was signed, thus making it illegal for Tesla to conduct direct sales in the state.

Officially, the bill, HB5606 has the status of “approved by the Governor 10/21/2014 @ 12:25 PM,” so that’s that for now.

In the hours leading up to the signing, General Motors came out in support of the bill, urging Snyder to sign it.

For the record, Tesla has zero stores in Michigan and had not even tried to conduct direct sales in the state at any point in time in the past.

Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development at Tesla Motors, issued this statement upon receiving word of the bill’s passage:

“We do take at their word the representations from the governor that he supports a robust debate in the upcoming session. We’ve entered an era where you can buy products and services with much greater value than a car by going online.”

Video of Governor Snyder discussing his signing of the bill below:

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101 Comments on "Michigan Governor Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Bill Into Law (w/video)"

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If I ever buy a Tesla I think it would be fun to buy it at the factory and drive it home on the Supercharger network. Telsa should get back at these people by adding super chargers to the UP and across the state. The idea is that people would have a easy time buying a Tesla in another state and driving on the super chargers back home.

Honesty I think car dealers are some of the dumbest creatures on the face of the Earth. They are also one of the most parasitic creatures out there like Changelings.

The reason why I hate them is that every time I try to ask about a electric car they always want to turn me towards a dino juice burner and I’m tired of it.

Dont the Koch brothers own Michigan at this point?

No, George Soros owns that state and the Government.

vperl – when did you learn to lie like that – or r u inhaling somrthing. Stupid is stupid does and stupid elects stupid.

Of course GM would support the ban…

Vote with your dollars people; do NOT buy GM products…

That won’t help Tesla unless you buy a Tesla instead of the GM vehicle. And hurting GM just hurts the people of Michigan. Your anger is misdirected.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Who voted for the pols?

That said, Tesla’s best revenge would be raiding the best & brightest auto industry people and relocating them out of the range of MI tax collectors.


I agree. The people of Michigan don’t need to feel the backlash of some misguided attempt to get revenge against car dealers.

Disagree: Starving an arrogant company of income is the most effective and direct way to repremand execs at the helm– thereby informing them that their political actions and products SUCK. Remember, this is the same company that’s knowingly allowed tens of American deaths via intentional money-saving tactics to burry deadly flaws in their vehicles from consumers and the government: innocent blood drips from their corporate logo…

Look at the backlash over the ELR’s ads and engineering, and the (eventual) corrective actions to drop the price, and corporates move to redesign it. Backlash for acting against Tesla may have positive consequences: if consumers take a stand.

GM fears Tesla, or they would not be actively trying to lobby so hard against them… I hope Model S, X and III eats GM’s business alive.






Wow, nice tantrum.

So Anon, you would want to lose your job at GM (along with 200K other people) because some GM executive is foolish or selfish? I guess in your world that makes sense, since you are part of the “arrogant company”.

By extension, you say my Volt and the Spark EV now “suck”.

And by extension, you equate a bad ignition design and decisions with homicide. Oy vey.

Your anger management issues are worse than I thought. Please consider therapy.

Dude, if anyone looses their job at GM, it won’t be because of anything customers do!

I would tend to agree, except that company’s these days use gimmicks to stay “profitable.” Gimmicks such as layoffs, wage suppression, market manipulation to inflate stock prices, etc. I don’t know how long their bags of tricks will work, but for now, they can tell their existing or potential customers “F*** You” as much as they want.

Michigan has over 100 suppliers to Tesla.

I wood look elsewhere for suppliers.

Great point! Fight fire with fire!!

What kind of backlash do you think GM would get from their dealers if they did not support the bill, or favored Tesla’s model?

That’s a great way to alienate your only way of selling your products.

Reminds me of last year when Heinz made the prior head of Burger King their new CEO. Guess what happened to their McDonald’s ketchup contract? Point being, that these sorts of things are multidimensional, it’s not necessarily a company being evil.

Well said.

Until the automakers are ready to engage in an all out war against their dealers, they will support each other, as neither can live without the other.

Humor me.

What kind of backlash will GM get from their dealers if they support direct selling?

What can the dealers do to GM? Which GMC or Chevy dealer or Buick/Cadillac dealer can afford to be suicidal and not sell GM cars?

GM doesn’t need their dealers as much as their dealers need GM.

Well, for starters, I would imagine that the service experiences that people already complain about would get worse. Additionally, I bet there’d be dealers that would try to game the warranty system more to milk GM for every dollar.

I also think that GM doesn’t have a great deal of control over their dealers as is (think how many never even tried to sell a Volt)… Not being against a bill that would directly hurt your sales force is just not smart from a business perspective. It all comes down to $$$

The average dealer’s service dept nets more than half of its profits. So it would (again) be suicidal to try to screw over GM. Crappy service = fewer customers = suicide. As for warranty service, dealers are already going for the max. I had a dealer change a part in my car under warranty. When I picked up my car, the work done sheet said that the part was changed because “customer complained of…”. Here’s the thing – I brought the car in only for the usual oil change. You’re right – GM has no control over their dealers. So all the more reason for GM to be open minded but current franchise laws prohibit even exploring. This lack of control is appalling – you heard of dealers steering EV customers away. My personal experience when I bought my Leaf was almost as bad. The local dealer claimed on the phone to honor employee pricing (I’m eligible) but tried to pull a fast one on me. I complained to Nissan but the regional sales manager said the best she can do is to educate the dealers, nothing more. So why pray tell, must we the consumers be forced to buy… Read more »

I don’t think any consumer should have to be forced to buy through a dealer. But GM’s position is not evil or surprising given that legislation in all 50 states presently requires them to do so, and they don’t want to alienate their only method of selling their products. That’s just business 101.

It also wouldn’t surprise me if, secretly, they hope that franchises are all done away with. But even the pro Tesla legislation only allows direct sales for companies that don’t already have dealers. Fail.

I would assume it’s more a case of “they don’t want to” than they can’t. Generally once a car is sold, they don’t have to worry about it ever again, unless there’s a recall. They concentrate on making the cars appealing to the customers by way of their marketing budget, and then let dealerships worry about the little details like selling to individuals.

McDonalds is a franchise, they could sell several versions of the McTesla.

They could have supported it. What they couldn’t do is what they did — make a big deal of their support. A company with a business model that landed them in bankruptcy and needing a government bailout should not be making a lot of noise about how other companies need to adopt their model.

Face plant moment.

Exactly! They hadda open their fat yap!
Screw you GM.

“Vote with your dollars people; do NOT buy GM products…”
I’d say if you want to send GM a message about vehicle electrification, buy a Spark EV, Volt, or Cadillac ELR.

I also support a ban on direct sales. Not that I have anything against Tesla.

I do have a problem with foreign automakers like FAW, Cherry, SAIC, GEELY, TATA, PROTON being able to direct sell in the U.S. market without any local presence.

The Law predates Tesla and should stand. After Tesla and Elon Musk are done with their moaning and groaning I’m sure eventually they will learn to love it.

So while Detroit looks like a scene from an after-Armageddon sci-fi flick, and neighbors have to mow the parks and ballfields so the children can play – while Michigan uses Tim the Toolman Allen’s voiceovers to lure companies to consider Michigan for relocation, and literally the whole state dries up and dies: the auto industry will flex it’s special-interest, lobbyist and politician-in-their pocket muscles to further demonstrate they are letting the modern world pass them by.

…and pass them by it will.

I think you forget that a very large number of electric cars are designed and built in Detroit…

Yes, compliance cars…


Also, those are not “electric cars” that are designed and built in Detroit. They are MODIFIED versions of regular gas cars.

Don’t believe? Just pop the trunk and ask yourself where’d all that space go..

The Volt would seem to contradict all your points.

Volt is not pure electric, you need to do some home work.

Doesn’t matter even if the Volt is not pure electric.

It IS based on a gas car – Chevy Cruze or to be specific, GM’s Delta platform.

I don’t like personal attacks but in this case, the ignorance is appalling….

Nobody here is anti-Volt. Perhaps you missed that I own a Volt. One has to remember that GM isn’t “all-in” on building PHEVs, EREVs or BEVs. So-far, we have GM spying on Tesla and admitting they hire people to specifically track Tesla’s every move, we have GM blatantly telling the press that Volt is a “halo” product like Corvette. We also have GM totally abandoning marketing Volt after failing miserably time and again to figure out how to sell a car that is the “anti SUV” – trucks and SUVs are the firm’s bread and butter products. Until GM, Ford and others quit stuffing battery packs in the trunks of their existing ICE products and calling it good. Until they start to indicate any kind of true mass-production program, such as Toyota’s Prius line – we have to assume it’s more compliance, image and PR than anything else. Admittedly, Volt sets a new paradigm. I’m seen here praising Volt and wishing GM would take Voltec and run with it. In 2016 we’ll see GM take another shot at Volt. We should hope GM goes after Prius in an aggressive attempt using social media and it’s enormous advertising budget. GM doesn’t… Read more »

I agree with most of what you said, but my 2014 Silverado is not oily or smelly. It’s a very refined truck that rides as quietly as my Volt. And it’s redesigned center-stack is more functional and intuitive than my Volt. And it gets best-in-class V8 mileage. However, GM is clearly missing a huge opportunity by not emulating/buying VIA.

Well said! I’m not terribly optimistic with them though. They should go after the Prius set. Volt has so much more to offer over Prius, enough electric driving range to handle most peoples daily commute, excellent performance, etc. Toyota get’s its “superior” mileage numbers by crippling the performance of the Prius. “Oh, you want 50 MPG? Ok, but you have to go 55 MPH and get yelled at and flipped off by even the grannies on the road!”

If I were GM, I would hammer on Toyota that way and position the Volt as the superior alternative.

What makes you think it is BASED on a Cruze? People compare it to a Cruze all the time, I’ll give you that. And people also point out it uses the same engine as a Cruze to generate power.

However, it is NOT based on a Cruze, and was purpose built. The battery is not taking up all the trunk space, for example.

The Volt uses the same compact vehicle platform as the Cruze, but if you know anything about vehicle platforms, that means NOTHING. The platforms are intended for multiple vehicles. The next D2XX platform is going to be used on over a half dozen vehicles, including sedans and crossovers. That doesn’t make one of the sedans based on the crossover or vice versa.

The ignorance IS certainly appalling here at times, I agree.

Platform DOES make a difference. GM’s choice of the Delta platform was a good one. They avoided the battery intrusion problems that plague Ford’s Focus EV. VW’s newest Golf platform was designed for BEV, PHEV, and ICE use and also doesn’t have these intrusions. Come to think of it, only the FFE has that bad battery intrusion problems. Fit EV, 500e, i-MiEV, Spark EV, e-Golf, etc., don’t have that problem.

vperi, the attacks against the Volt not being “pure electric” kind of get old. I don’t need to do homework on one because I own one.

It’s full electric for 40 miles with gas to take you as much further as you need to go. While purists that don’t want an engine criticize the Volt for this capability, this kind of approach will be the stop gap (or gateway drug, if you prefer) that lets the mass market get addicted to BEV’s once their range becomes fully adequate.

Stop whining, you Tesla trolls! GM sells more PHEVs and EVs than Tesla every year.

What?! That’s not true.

I find it amusing that you refer to others that which you are yourself, sans “Tesla.”

Only parts of it are a “warzone”. You may get to see those parts in 2016 depending on where they are filming Batman vs. Superman. They also did some filming at Michigan State University last week.

I sold cars back in the eighties and early nineties. The mantra I was quoted by my manager over and over was: “Buyers are liars!” – It illustrated the mentality of tricking the customer into buying from you instead of saving a few hundred bucks by driving a few miles and getting the vehicle from another dealer. This is just how archaic the camel-trading business plan we’ve lived with in the auto industry for eons. At the back of my Nissan-Volvo dealership was a closet containing schemes of the past mixed with stacks of brochures. Holiday cards with your business card attached to drum up referral business to actual pocket BIbles with the dealer’s name printed on them to place in that car you just sold’s glovebox! – You know, to show that customer what a God-fearing, honest sort you were. The owner was fond of telling a story about a bachelor party he held for one of his managers wherein he rented an RV and hired strippers to drive around town all day and entertain his top salesmen! Boy, what a God-fearing guy my boss was! Who wants direct sales when you can keep scheming on how to fleece… Read more »

Rand Paul is from Kentucky. Like most successful politicians from Kentucky from every political party, he energy policy is coal, coal, and more coal.

If I found a bible in my new car from a dealer, I would seriously consider returning the car.

Rand Paul is a libertarian dumb @ss like his dad. They talk big about libertarian values but when it comes to “National Security” they’re as draconian as their Repub counterparts. The only libertarian “values” they have is for corps and big business.

No matter. Detroit will just continue to devolve into a ghost town. For decades the state has catered to the wishes of the big three, targeting one industry only. Now there’s only the big two. So they again choose to be left behind…

Very smart that is why Michigan has the best economy in US. Keep US business away.

Follow the money.

Well, his action makes it easy to oust the Governor come next election. Who would vote for someone who restricts consumers rights to purchase a product directly from a manufacturer?


Detroit is about 60 miles from Toledo Ohio. Put the dealership and the Jobs in Ohio (who has already approved at least 3 dealerships so far for Tesla). Write off the rest of Michigan as too backwards to deserve to own Tesla’s.

Right. What is the policy of buying a slightly used Tesla in Ohio????

Volvo has a program that allows buyers to pismie up their car in Sweden from factory and travel across Europe before putting it on a ship to Canada. Tesla could offer a similar program for buyers from other states.

Sounds great, but until California changes the tax code , when anyone picks up thek vehicle in Californicator…. You pay the sales tax…

A bundle of cash.

So, now Tesla can sell new cars from any franchised dealer, without their name necessarily on the dealership’s sign. Correct?

Tesla could very well sell cars in Michigan; it only has to set up franchises. This issue has less to do with GM v Tesla than it does with dealers v Tesla. Nor does this have to do with owning or driving a Tesla in Michigan, any more than it does owning and driving any other car.

The people of Michigan are not boneheaded or ignorant of electric vehicles. I have a half dozen Volts on the blocks around me outside Detroit. It helps that all Volts are assembled at the Detroit-hamtramack facilty.

Tesla is not entitled to change all of the rules of business at once. It is entitled to develop and sell cars within the bounds of the law (which also give it a lot of tax breaks) and at some point, if it wants to break into more markets, then it will have to play by the local rules.

Tesla is not entitled to change all the rules of business, no. But both the change introduced in HB 5606 and the way it was done were dirty pool, quite obviously so. Despite Rick Snyder and his pals’ protestations, the exclusion from Tesla so much as EXHIBITING cars is new law, and provides no conceivable benefit for the citizens of Michigan — unless they happen to be employed by a dealership, I suppose.

For that matter, the money the dealers have spent opposing Tesla seems likely to greatly exceed any business they might lose to increased local competition. So why do it? I think they want to prevent people from seeing that their business model isn’t the only way to do it. There’s a reason car salespeople rank below everyone other than Congresspeople and lobbyists in trustworthiness:


If the people who ranked them there got the idea there was another way, why, who knows what might happen?

Dirty tricks and sleazy politicians aside, Tesla still has an option to sell their care in Michigan, though they seem to think it unpalatable for now.

In time, Tesla will lose its cache, and the brand power that goes along with being outside of the traditional car manufacturers. When they start to reach a saturation point with the current model and shareholders demand more, Tesla will eventually go to a dealer model.

Good business is exactly about changing the rules for the better, to beat the competition…

By the way, what specifically are the “tax breaks” you are referring to? Not the Nevada ones, I assume.

Tax breaks was the incorrect word to use there. I was referring to the $7500 tax rebate that they and other electric car producers can use to promote to customers to buy their cars.

When will our politicians look to the future and not to the past? Very disappointing that our educated politicians let this wording get included into a bill that initially had nothing to do with Tesla. Tesla will win in the end, even if they do decide to franchise.

It’s a consumer-driven market. Not a government mandate-driven market. If the consumer demands the right to directly purchase a Tesla – they will eventually elect politicians who see things their way. Dealer associations’ established relationships with state governments will hold for now – but the tide of consumer demand will win the war. Contrary to Mark’s assertion that Tesla is going to have to sell their cars on other people’s lots to succeed in Michigan is false. For one, Detroit was the first major city in the USA to claim bankruptcy, and Michigan is in financial trouble. That is not exactly what is called leading by strength. As of today, consumers are free to buy a new Tesla online and pick it up in a surrounding state, and have the car serviced in an unbranded facility. As others have said – scheduled Superchargers should still go up in Michigan and let the public see Teslas plying the highways and byways of their state. When they find out their state is blocking their free access to buy and service the car where they live – the public will speak. Remember – an affordable Model III is not far off. Consumers change… Read more »

Not only are “consumers … free to buy a new Tesla online and pick it up in a surrounding state”, but Tesla will actually deliver it to their doorstep for no additional charge. I think there’s some minimum distance your home has to be from the nearest store, maybe 100 miles? Most of Michigan easily qualifies.


Was thinking btw Volt or a Leaf. This makes it easy for me. Leaf it is!

When you get stranded, a nice Volt driver will be happy to give you a lift. 😉

I know you were joking, but really, how many stranded EVs have you ever seen?

Of course I was joking. 😉

It was also a little Easter Egg for a friend of mine, as he’s had me standing by with my Volt and inverter kit in case his LEAF ran out of juice a couple of times while trying to maximize battery use and not get stranded.

Yeah, after you have egged him on to push his Leaf on a 90-mile one-way trip with zero charging, during cold weather (i.e. heat is necessary). No sane person believes a Leaf can do that. It’s just not made for that. Use it for its intended purpose, and it’s a wonderful car. Try to push it beyond that and it will be an adventure at best, a miserable experience at worst.

You found the Easter Egg!!

But wait a minute, it is a 32 mile trip one-way, not a 90 mile trip! 64 mile round trip, without those crazy detours you were trying to make! 🙂

We are clearly talking about different trips. The only trip I remember talking seriously about needing “rescue” was visiting my sister, who lives in a city 90 miles away, the other side of an EV charging desert. I assume you are talking about Prison City? I’ve made that trip many times, some hitting LBW and some not even.

Ah, I was referring to our ski trip outing. We tested out the ability to charge from the Volt using the inverter kit before we took the trip. 😉

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you guys know each other in real life? 😉

I have never even heard of one let alone seen one. Except the fake ones on those whiny baby car shows…..

I think it would be great if the fast-charger that’s built into my Volt could also fast-charge other EVs, or even just other GM EVs. To some people, the usefulness of such an option would be huge.

EV range anxiety would be less of an issue if you knew you could call your spouse for a jump-charge.

I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to stretch myself financially to barely afford a Model 3 or just lease some promised 150-200 mile EV in a couple of years from somebody else. This is yet another reason why I’m going to wait for the Model 3. Screw Detroit, the dealer association, and their bought and paid for politicians. It’s blatantly obvious why they are doing this, but there’s nothing anybody can do to stop them, and they know it. I can’t stand good ol’ boy politics. I’m all in now.

Hear! Hear! 100 thumbs up! This is the attitude more and more people will come to embrace. Screw ’em! I won’t be told what to buy and where I can get it.

People will eventually realize electrics, EREVs and PHEVs are smartphones compared to the ’90s-era analog phones established dealer networks are trying to push off on them. BS only works so long…

Yeah, I have to say, I’ve been on the fence about whether I should get the Outlander PHEV or Volt 2.0. I think GM is helping me decide on the Outlander.

Late at night,now. Hear the waves crashing on the Lake Michigan Shore as my Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle, now according to OnStar captured data at 97.1 all EV miles, is refueling using the 110V AC, 12a 50′ extension cord off the back outlet by the deck.

The call of the wiporwill echoing beyond the Great Lakes hum.

Great Michigan Vs Tesla wrap up Eric.

The Michigan Governor, @onetoughnerd , Rick Snyder earlier today signed HB 5606 Of 2014.

Ignoring the agenda drven or uninformed viewes of CherylG’s_DirtyLittleSecret, Rick Danger, Anon And Anon, Stimpacker and vperl, at this late hour I have some very interesting links for this hungry, opinionated readership.

1) Link Goes To The Official Letter From Michigan Governor Rick Snyder To The People Of The Great State Of Michigan-


2) Link Goes To Automotive News, The Trade Magazing Of The Global Automotive Industry- Fist Fights Erupting In The Comments Section…Amazing Fist Fights!

Scroll Down-


Just For The Record, Here Are The A List Players-

Twitter Accounts, Ground Zero-

@TeslaMotors – Manufacturer
@ElonMusk – CEO
@onetoughnerd – Governor
@MarkSchauer – Challenger
@Auto_Alliance – Following


Thomas J. Thias



Interesting links, thanks. Some choice quotes there:

“”I don’t think anything was sneaky,” Terry Burns, executive vice president of MADA, said last week.”

Well of course he doesn’t. Nothing was sneaky — by dealership standards. And that’s the problem.

“the car dealers slipped language into the bill”

I think it’s important for Michigan’s 22nd District voters to remember it wasn’t just the dealers, it was Joe Hune. And for Michigan voters to remember it wasn’t just the dealers, it was Rick Snyder. I mean, I’m irritated at the dealers, but they don’t make the laws, even if they pay for them.

Yep. Con artists and grifters don’t usually think of themselves as such.

Thomas, you forgot the memo. We’re not calling the Volt an EREV anymore. It’s a PHEV with a large battery.

By “strengthening” (Gov. Snyder’s word) a law that protects Michigan auto dealers and manufacturers against competition from an out-of-state business, Michigan has just started a trade war with California. We’re not supposed to have trade wars between states, but the interstate commerce clause is being ignored here. What can California do to a Michigan product in retaliation?

Is all this passion over removal of the word “its”. Not sure I follow?

Laws are made out of words, as it turns out, so changing the words changes the law. Simple, really.

Has anyone figured out if this also means Tesla is banned from the NAIAS?

Doesn’t seem like they would be since there’s lots of cars shown there that are not for sale.

But it wouldn’t have been illegal until yesterday. This would be the first time that a company is required to have a an Michigan independent dealer in or to “display cars” in the state of Michigan.

Iowa just shut down the Tesla test drive “event”, based on similar rulings.

*a* Michigan … in *order* to

My fingers must be out of calibration today.

Oh that’s interesting. If they start trying to interpret the law that way, I expect Tesla wouldn’t be the only one potentially affected — don’t some of the Chinese automakers show at NAIAS, for example? Also, I remember NAIAS rumbling about leaving Cobo for Chicago or elsewhere, back around 2008. If they’re restricted as to who can show, I would think that would — or should, anyway — go back on the table.

But I bet the law won’t be applied like that. Michigan may not care about pissing off Tesla, but NAIAS is another story.

The NAIAS can follow the rest of the state into the sinkhole. What a great place to live! The smell of failure, corruption and decay everywhere…

It still seems like Tesla can attend and talk about their products (not pricing), show videos, pictures, etc. They just can’t show the actual cars.

If that’s all they can do, I don’t think that would be enough to get Tesla to NAIAS.