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Joe Cannon, a lobbyist for the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, told lawmakers in testimony that the decision means Ohio's longstanding licensing rules "have been thrown upside down."
"The BMV's decision opens the door for all manufacturers both emerging and existing to follow the same path," Cannon told the Senate Finance Committee. "This decision has serious implications for both our dealers and consumers. From an industry perspective, our members have made substantial investments in their businesses, employees and communities across the state."
O'Connell said the cars can be difficult to sell so direct sales are needed to jumpstart electric car technology and drive down prices.
Ohio dealers with 830 dealerships, 50,000 employees and $2 billion in payroll annually say their businesses can only prosper when the law separates manufacturers and dealers. They view the license Ohio granted to Tesla as opening a Pandora's box.
argued to Ohio senators that dealerships play an important watchdog role that is lost through direct sales.
At what it calls galleries operated in Maryland, Arizona, Texas and Virginia, consumers can view vehicles but aren't able to discuss price, take test drives or place orders. An Arizona lawmaker has introduced legislation that would overturn a sales restriction in place there.
Ohio bill could kill Cincinnati Tesla store
Ohio is among states proposing to block Tesla from setting up additional direct sales galleries on grounds they undercut traditional auto dealerships. Earlier this month, New Jersey officials approved a regulation effectively prohibiting automakers from going straight to customers. Tesla vice president Diarmuid O'Connell visited Ohio legislative leaders that same day to try to discourage them from passing similar restrictions.
The administration of Republican Gov.
their associations are fighting to limit the company's ability to sell them itself across the country, including in Ohio, Georgia and New York.
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CINCINNATI Ohio auto dealers are sparring with California based automaker Tesla, which is selling its electric cars in Cincinnati.
"Dealers act as advocates for their customers as it relates to warranty, recall and other service related issues with the manufacturer," he said. "The distinctly different roles of dealers and manufacturers act as a system of checks and balances to ensure that warranty and other service issues are administered fairly."
He said many dealers refuse to sell Tesla cars yet Burberry Bags Outlet
The decade old car company is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and sells two models the two seat sports style Roadster, at about $100,000; and the Model S sedan, at about $75,000. It would like to eventually offer a $35,000 economy model, he said.
The association filed unsuccessful legal action against Tesla's two existing Ohio stores, so now is fighting for passage of a bill that would prevent Tesla from expanding to other locations.
O'Connell argues the several hundred vehicles Tesla has sold in Ohio represent a fraction of the market, which averages about 500,000 cars annually.
"The dealers Prada Shoulder Bag With Chain are simply flexing their muscles, exerting their power to lock down the market and create a de jure monopoly," he said.
ability to grow in the Ohio market and, frankly, it's just a first step to them shutting down our existing businesses," O'Connell said. "This is the pattern we see in other states."
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