Authorities are seriously considering allowing Tesla Motors to sell cars directly to customers in Arizona
Tesla Motors has inched closer to selling vehicles directly to consumers at Arizona stores. A bill was advanced by the State House Commerce Committee on Wednesday that will enable the car maker to sell vehicles directly to consumers, provided the company agrees to set up a service center in the state, according to Mercury News.
Tesla can’t afford dealers
Experts believe the step taken by the committee indicates that Gov. Doug Ducey is more liberal toward companies and will allow new business models to make a mark, such as Tesla’s direct-to-consumer approach.
Those in favor argue that the bill would allow the relaxation of the current laws, welcoming new technology and innovation without interrupting existing industries. Barry Aarons, a lobbyist for Tesla Motors, said the bill is not made to disrupt the existing system. Rather, it is designed to support the system that currently exists, according to the report. Aaron said Tesla is incapable of selling its cars through dealers at its current price or volume.
The Palo Alto-based company will be able to follow its direct sales model if the proposed bill is passed into law. For now, consumers in Arizona can get a glimpse of the car, but they cannot test drive it or discuss pricing. And those who want to see a Tesla in their garage have to order online.
Is the bill specifically for Tesla?
Traditional automakers and auto dealers have already showed their discontent with the bill. Jim Norton, a representative for the Arizona Automotive Dealers Association, argued that if the bill is taken forward, it will bring down the current system of car dealers that operate independently and offer service.
“What you are doing with this bill, is basically saying all those rules that have been developed over 100-plus years no longer apply to you,” he said. Others argue that the bill is special legislation designed for Tesla.
“Tesla is asking for a favor,” said Republican Rep. Jay Lawrence, who opposed the measure.
The committee has given the green light to House Bill 2216 on a 5-3 vote. Now the bill will progress to the second house committee.