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Ohio Dealers Renew Assault Against Tesla Motors Sales

 

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

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The legislative battle that pits Ohio car dealers against Tesla Motors and its company-owned stores continues.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the car dealers are once again pushing legislation that would keep Tesla from selling cars in the Buckeye State.

MORE: Auto Dealers' Fight Against Tesla Stores: Elon Musk Weighs In

Senate Bill 260 would explicitly prohibit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) from issuing car-dealer licenses to auto manufacturers.

Section 11 of the bill lists "a manufacturer... applying for license to sell or lease new motor vehicles at retail" as one of the types of organization ineligible for a dealership license.

This comes after car dealers sued to block Tesla from selling cars in Ohio.

Back in December, a group of dealers argued that Tesla did not include required contracts with the vehicle manufacturer in their applications, even though the vehicle manufacturer is part of the same entity.

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Enlarge Photo
The group also argued that Ohio law required the contract to be between two separate parties, which would have made it impossible for Tesla to operate in the state under its direct-sales model.

This was a follow-up to Ohio car dealers' original attempt to remove Tesla from the state through legislation.

As with the current Senate Bill 260, the proposed legislation would have made it illegal for the Ohio BMV to issue dealer licenses to vehicle manufacturers.

However, instead of putting the language on the Senate floor as a standalone bill, the ban was inserted as an amendment to Senate Bill 137--an unrelated bill that required Ohio drivers to move to the left while passing roadside maintenance vehicles.

Ohio is one of several states where local car-dealer associations have challenged Tesla's unorthodox sales model, forcing owners in some areas to skirt the law to get their cars.

So far, anti-Tesla legislation has been defeated in Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and New York, while Arizona, Colorado, Texas, and Virginia do not permit new Tesla ompany-owned stores to open.

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