Pennsylvania Senate passes amended Tesla bill

Article by Andrew Christian, on July 1, 2014

The Pennsylvania Senate has unanimously passed a bill that benefits Tesla’s factory store model in the state. The bill -- worded to apply on to Tesla -- was amended to limit the number of allowed factory-owned stores allowed to just five. It now moves to the Pennsylvania House for consideration. The bill had initial set no limit on the number of outlets allowed for Tesla.

This prompted a harsh response from Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which said that the original legislation would give Tesla an unfair advantage over traditional carmakers. The bill was supported by state’s dealers association.

Alliance officials had warned that if there is no limit for direct sales for Tesla in Pennsylvania, then the state should also allow all other carmakers to sell directly, bypassing dealers.

Alliance spokesman Dan Gage said in an e-mail to Automotive News that since the bill has been amended to place a five-store cap, the alliance could “possibly” give its endorsement.

Gage remarked that the alliance supports the current cap figure since it is in line with neighboring states. The number of stores that Tesla could put up in other states is three in Ohio and five in New York.

A proposed legislation in New Jersey seeks to limit Tesla’s stores in the state to four. John Devlin, president of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association, remarked that the group supports the compromise passed by the Senate, noting that legislators did a good job of “giving everyone something.”

The dealers association supported the original bill to ascertain whether Tesla’s direct-sales model is legal in Pennsylvania. Its leaders believe the current statute already bars direct factory sales.

Topics: tesla

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