A licensing amendment that Tesla Motors Inc. claims would prevent it from selling vehicles in Ohio wasn't put for voting at the state's House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee Tuesday. The amendment is supported by the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association and bars a "manufacturer or a subsidiary, parent, or affiliated entity of a manufacturer" from getting a license as a motor vehicle dealer in the state.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the amendment would have been attached to Senate Bill 137, which compels drivers to move over when approaching a road-maintenance vehicle.
Committee Chairman Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, Ohio, remarked that the Senate Bill 137 wasn’t the right place for the licensing amendment. He added that Ohio legislature may take up the issue next month and have “thorough, vetted hearings with all of the parties involved to see if there’s a solution.”
Damschroder said that they haven't had enough dialogue with the dealers, the auto industry and with Tesla. He said that it was his decision as committee chairman not to "throw it in as an amendment at the last minute." Despite the event, Ohio dealers are still bent on defending the state's licensing and franchise system.
"We will be interested in trying to present legislation that will protect the integrity of Ohio's licensing law," Tim Doran, president of the state's dealers association, told Automotive News in an interview. He remarked that the Ohio legislature could be interested in "seeing a bill that is fully discussed and debated." Tesla is eyeing to open stores this December in Columbus and Cincinnati.