Georgia dealers vehemently oppose Tesla and its direct sales model

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 3, 2014

Opposition to Tesla and its direct sales model has yet to die down despite recent victories in some states. This comes as the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association recently filed a petition of enforcement with state regulators saying that the carmaker’s direct-sales model infringes on state law. Tesla currently operates one store in Marietta (suburb Atlanta) and intends to open two more stores in metro Atlanta.

Bill Morie, president of the Georgia dealers association, told Automotive News, said that they just want Tesla them to comply with the law the way others are. The Georgia dealers association is asking state regulators to bar Tesla from selling its vehicles in state as well as revoke its existing dealer license.

It is also asking state regulators to bar any attempt by the carmaker to renew or reapply for a license. The Georgia dealers association claims that Tesla improperly obtained its dealer license by saying that it is eligible for a statutory exception that allows direct sales for makers of custom vehicles selling less than 150 units annually.

The association says Tesla is not qualified for the exception since it does not make to custom design spec and it is already selling over 150 vehicles in the state annually. Morie remarked no one should be allowed to act as like they are above the law, especially when there is a “simple path to compliance,” which is using a franchised dealer network.

Thanks to generous tax breaks for EVs, Georgia is becoming a major market for EV makers. Atlanta even ranked as the second-largest EV market among major metropolitan areas in the 12 months ending March 31, 2014, according to IHS Automotive. EVs account for 2.15 percent of of all new vehicles registered in Atlanta. [source: Jalopnik.com]

Topics: tesla, sales

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