As the longtime home to the American auto industry, it’s little surprise that Michigan politicians have sent a bill banning Tesla direct to the governor’s desk. The bill now awaits either a signature or a veto from Governor Snyder, and I don’t envy his position.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the bill passed through both the state legislative branch without any effort or debate, with a single representative voting against the bill. Technically the bill merely strengthens an existing law banning direct sales, but it does seem pointedly aimed at Tesla at a time when other states are passing similar laws.
Tesla’s efforts to repeal similar laws and rulings have stalled in states like New Jersey and Texas, with Tesla taking legal action in the Garden State to win back its right to sell cars. Tesla is hoping its recent win in Massachusetts will have a broader effect on rulings nationwide, but so far it’s been left up to individual states to decide how to deal with the direct sales model. In Europe and Asia, Tesla has had no such trouble setting up and selling its vehicles. Funny, that.
It’s hard to tell who is winning this war right now, and while I’m obviously rooting for Tesla, the auto dealers aren’t prepared to go quietly into the night. It may take the intervention of the auto industry as a whole to get laws changed on a national level, and so far no other automaker seems ready to take that stand.