As the spring fighting season approaches, New York auto dealers are preparing for a new assault in their campaign against Tesla.
Last June, the New York State Assembly ended its legislative session without advancing a pair of bills that would have prevented Tesla from selling its electric vehicles directly to consumers in the state. However, it appears the bill will be revived in this year’s session.
In November, dealer groups met with Governor Andrew Cuomo, and aides said the governor would sign the bill if it passes the legislature, according to Deborah Dorman, President of the Eastern New York Coalition of Auto Dealers.
Dorman said that it’s already illegal for manufacturers to sell directly to consumers in New York, but Tesla created subsidiaries to skirt the law.
She said the bill was designed to protect consumers, and was not directed at Tesla. “Everyone is selling electric cars, it has nothing to do with that,” she said. “If you allow someone to come into the market with no overhead, that’s an unfair advantage.”
Tesla supporters, including actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo, do not agree, saying that the bill unfairly singles out the EV industry. “Imagine making Apple Computers unable to sell Apple Computers directly to their customers. That’s what NYS is trying to do to @TeslaMotors,” tweeted The Hulk.