As you’ve probably heard, a new bill which effectively bans Tesla Motors from selling directly to consumers was signed into law by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The new law could also prevent Tesla from even opening a gallery in the state.
The part you may not have heard is that General Motors was an outspoken proponent of the bill, urging the Michigan Governor to sign it into law.
The automaker sent a letter to Snyder, stating: “We believe that House Bill 5606 will help ensure that all automotive manufacturers follow the same rules to operate in the State of Michigan; therefore, we encourage Governor Snyder to sign it.”
Obviously, it would be unsafe to assume that this letter in and of itself was enough to push Michigan’s Governor into signing the bill into law; automotive dealers, and even the National Automobile Dealers Association itself, came out as proponents of Bill 5606 – a Bill originally aimed at protecting dealers’ rights to charge whatever additional fees without any limitations from the factory.
But there’s no denying that General Motors’ support (perhaps spurred by pressure from its dealer network?) of the Bill must have had at least some influence on Snyder’s decision to enact it. Other states have enacted (or attempted to enact) similar legislation to stop Tesla Motors from selling direct-to-consumer, a push-back against Tesla Motors that the Federal Trade Commission has called “anticompetitive.”