Georgia legislators introduce bill to let Tesla sell more cars direct

The next battle in the war between Tesla and the auto dealers is shaping up in Georgia, where legislation has been introduced that would let the company sell more cars directly to the public in the state. Currently, Tesla is allowed to sell up to 150 cars a year under an exemption to the state law that prohibits most direct sales. Republican House Reps. Chuck Martin, Buzz Brockway and Earl Ehrhart have introduced a bill that would raise that cap to 1,500 vehicles a year.

As it does in other states, Tesla gets around the yearly limit by having cars delivered as California vehicles, a process that is inconvenient to customers.

The Peach State ranks fourth in the nation in EV registrations, according to auto web site Edmunds.com, after Washington, Hawaii and California. EV sales grew to 1.1 percent of all vehicle registrations in Georgia in 2013. Atlanta’s lengthy commutes, temperate climate and relatively flat terrain make it ideal for EVs, and the state offers a $5,000 tax credit to EV buyers, among the highest in the country.

Atlanta, where Tesla opened a retail store in January, is a growing market, said spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson. “We’re seeing a number of walk-ins into our Atlanta service center.”

The Georgia Automotive Dealers Association is reviewing the proposed legislation. “We have a concern that a certain manufacturer wants to bypass the franchise system that’s worked…since the early 1900s,” said President William “Bill” Morie.

 

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle