Wyoming Bill Would Allow Auto Manufacturers To Sell Directly To Customers

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You won’t find many people in the US who have anything good to say about car dealerships (unless they or one of their family members work for one). There’s the general feeling of being ripped off, the intentional obfuscation, and reneging on “promises” by the salesperson. There’s the often slow and non-transparent shipping and delivery process, etc.

With all of this apparently in mind, lawmakers in Wyoming have moved to legalize the direct sales model used by Tesla across the board — meaning that all manufacturers operating in the state will be able to sell their own vehicles rather than being forced to rely on third-party auto dealers.

This is, of course, only if the proposed bill (Senate Bill 57) is passed by relevant authorities.

Still very interesting, though, and probably a sign of things to come in larger, more populous states in the near future.

“Right now, a manufacturer cannot legally sell cars to Wyoming consumers in Wyoming,” stated Senator Cale Case, R-Lander, the lead sponsor of the bill. “I am not sure what Tesla would do with the law, but it seems like a business-friendly thing to do to make it legal for them to sell cars to people in Wyoming.”

Teslarati provides more:

“The proposed bill in Wyoming would require Tesla and other direct sale manufacturers to obtain a state license to sell directly to customers. The Wyoming legislation also states that manufacturers would be allowed to open stores that they wholly own. …

“The bill permits manufacturer sales even if it does not have a physical presence in the state. … Until the bill passes, such a direct sales business model continues to be illegal in Wyoming and several other states, including Utah, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Michigan, amongst others.

“The Wyoming Automobile Dealers Association (WADA) is now reviewing the proposed legislation, with concerns about fairness. Marsha Allen, WADA’s executive vice president, has indicated she is researching whether the bill will harm existing Wyoming businesses. She dismissed the need for Wyoming residents to be able to purchase Tesla vehicles in state ‘since people are already purchasing these vehicles,’ adding that Wyoming law already allows car owners to register and title the cars with the Department of Transportation.”

It should be noted here that those in Wyoming who are purchasing Teslas, as Allen noted, are very likely doing so in Colorado. So, I’m not sure what point the WADA exec is making. Why legalize in-state sales (and increase tax revenue) when those interested in Teslas can simply drive to a different state to purchase one? That’s a strange point to make, if that’s what she meant.

Beyond the implications for Tesla, this news is interesting because of the impact it could have on larger auto manufacturers. Where will this lead? If the dealership model implodes within my lifetime, I certainly won’t be shedding any tears.

Image by Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica.com | CleanTechnica.pics

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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