Dealer Groups Sue Tesla, State Agencies Over EV Maker's Ohio Retail License

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
dealer groups sue tesla state agencies over ev makers ohio retail license

Tesla retail store in Columbus, Ohio

Car dealers trying to head off Tesla Motors’ attempts to set up factory-direct showrooms in Ohio lost a round last month when a dealership licensing amendment that would have blocked Tesla from selling vehicles direct to retail customers in the state wasn’t voted upon in the state legislature. Now the dealers are trying the litigation route, suing Tesla and state agencies to have Tesla’s retail license voided. The defendants are Tesla, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The plaintiffs include Midwestern Auto Group in Dublin, Ohio, and Ricart Automotive Group, of Groveport, Ohio.

Earlier this month Tesla opened up its first Ohio store in a mall in Columbus, along with a service center in the same city, presumably to service the cars sold at the mall. The EV company says it will open a second store in Cincinnati by the end of the year. To bolster it’s case with the Ohio public, Tesla announced that the expansions will mean another 26 jobs and “add an initial $7 million in direct economic activity.”

James Chen, Tesla’s VP for regulatory affairs and the automaker’s associate general counsel, called the dealers’ actions “bullying”, using a current buzzword. “This is the same kind of bullying from the dealers we’ve faced in other states. The dealers, when they’re defeated in the court of public opinion, in the media and in the legislature, they then go to the courts.”

Join the conversation
34 of 66 comments
  • Stryker1 Stryker1 on Dec 20, 2013

    I consider myself a Tesla Skeptic, but if they're drawing this kind of dirt from the dealers, they must be on to something.

    • See 10 previous
    • Marman Marman on Dec 21, 2013

      @Pch101 how is tesla trying to convince you that your payment is lower than it really is?

  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Dec 20, 2013

    "Tesla sells cars at full sticker." Lookis like I'm out. They don't have a big enough crow bar to get full sticker out of me. Matter of fact, no dealer or manufacturer does.

    • See 11 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 21, 2013

      @marman "cars were horribly built, full of problems" This is inaccurate. The only notable problems of the SL series were the oil consumption problem (d'oh), power window regulators (which at least half of Saturns never had in the first place), and a weaker auto transmission (which I am told is less of an issue if you changed the fluid and filter on schedule). I got 164 out of my auto tranny before I replaced it with junkyard one. The car runs fine at almost 166 and is still using mostly factory parts outside of the radiator, water pump/pulley/serp, fluids, and a couple of sensors. "cheapo GM interiors" You bet, but so was most of its competition of the period. Escorts and J cars were just as cheap, I can't remember gen 1 Neons in terms of interior. Corollas weren't any less cheap, Civic may have been the only one with a nicer interior comparatively speaking.

  • Ceipower Ceipower on Dec 20, 2013

    Boo-Hoo Dealers!! Just as greedy and narrow minded as our Congress. Go Tesla.

    • See 6 previous
    • Marman Marman on Dec 21, 2013

      @beefmalone sure, getting laws put in place to limit competition, pick winners and losers, and ensure you can rob people sure is CAPITALISM.

  • JK43123 JK43123 on Dec 20, 2013

    And I hate Ricart. What a zoo! Last time I was there I specifically said I did not want a stick since it was for my wife, and the guy kept showing us stick shifts. "I can teach her!" No you can't buddy, she's handicapped, don't you get it? Terrib.e. John