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Controversial anti-Tesla legislation shot down in Indiana, national “incivility” from Tesla supporters cited

Screenshot 2016-02-25 13.03.46

The Indystar is reporting that the anti-Tesla bill or amendment to a bill has been shot down in Indiana.

A state Senate committee on Thursday effectively tabled a controversial proposal to prevent Tesla Motors Inc. from selling cars in Indiana under its current business model. The Senate Commerce and Technology Committee voted to send HB 1254 to a summer study committee. The House passed the same version of the bill Feb. 2. Sen. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, the committee chairman, had supported a version of the bill that would have banned manufacturers from selling directly to consumers. That version of the bill would have caused Tesla’s dealer license to expire in 2018 and forced the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company to either adopt a franchise dealer model or stop selling cars in Indiana.

The bill was clearly aimed at Tesla and authored by GM according to Tesla and would have made it unlawful for a manufacturer to its own dealerships within the state. Tesla has been in Indiana for two years and has planned to expand operations in the state.

Buck on Thursday opened the committee hearing by saying he has been on the receiving end of “incivility” from Tesla supporters this week as the bill received national attention.

Fantastic. I hope we helped.

If I can be blunt for a few minutes here, I have to remark on how bad of a shit show the Indiana State Senate committee is. Having watched endured the hearing in full, (video below) it’s clear that these ‘representatives’ are both:

  • bought and paid for by the businesses they represent
  • totally clueless about their own auto laws, the automobile business or any business outside of ‘taking gifts for favors’ industry

Watching Tesla’s James Chen and subsequent Tesla representatives repeatedly try to make these folks understand how the business works, why franchises aren’t good for the consumer and explain the inherent unfairness of the new legislation is an exercise in frustration.

For those that don’t want to watch the whole thing, here are some direct links:

First 18 minutes are introduction by Sen. Buck (committe chair) and presentation and discussion of the bill by Rep. Mahan and Sen. Kenley

Tesla VP of Regulatory Affairs James Chen 18:35

Tesla Owner #1 57:35

Tesla Owner #2 1:03:13

Tesla Owner #3 1:09:30

Tesla Service Manager 1:13:00

Tesla Owner #4 1:20:10

Tesla Owner #5 1:23:00

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  1. Dan - 7 years ago

    The ignorance of their own laws is mind-blowing, and the degree to which they are shills for GM’s law is embarrassing.

  2. daniel13336 - 7 years ago

    “Well, that’s Indiana for you boy” (I spent a year at Purdue)

  3. Greg2016 - 7 years ago

    This is wonderful news. Even though I have a lot of respect for Senator Jim Buck, on this issue he is obviously wrong. Requiring manufactures to sell through dealers is not in the best interest of the consumer. It’s only in the best interest of the existing dealers, and the manufacturers that would seek to inhibit competition.

  4. mcschlotz - 7 years ago

    Indiana isn’t the only state with ‘less than informed’ or repurposed legislators. The unfortunate disappointing aspects are, however, difficult to swallow but it sure helps make up your mind coming voting time. Being a Hoosier, I did email each legislator informing them of GM’s manipulating efforts BUT unlike Jim Buck eluded, it was done respectfully.

  5. Lady Gaia - 7 years ago

    Senator: Buck you– you corrupt corporate puppet. 😛

  6. Atlantis - 7 years ago

    The face of these guys say a lot of what they truly feel: “Well, I’m here to do my job, that it’s not helping average people, consumers or even the ones who votes for me. I’m here to help my masters and their car dealers allies but I’m already aware that’s an unwinnable war, because, even if I would get some sort of victory in the next summer battle, it will not last a long time. Why? Because Tesla has already win the ultimate battle, the one of winning a very big number of people hearts, and each day they are winning more.” That’s what their faces are telling me.

  7. Ivan - 7 years ago

    I am not for defending politicians in general and I am a Tesla fan (cannot afford one yet).

    But just for me to understand things: on the face of it this bill does seem to attempt to ensure a minimum level of local customer service after the sale. Whatever the real motive for it, it sounds like a good initiative.

    What I don’t understand is this: if the State insists on companies having such a local dealership, ostensibly in order to be closer to the customer when he needs service or repair, why don’t they allow those same companies to own such a local dealership? After all, if the company chooses do so (instead of having an agreement with an independent dealership), it will ensure a high degree of after-sale service, right? I admit I know nothing about dealership/franchise laws in USA/Idaho, but is there a cogent reason for such a prohibition to own your dealership?


Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting