Tesla could be banned from opening stores in Michigan

Tesla has criticized Michigan for passing a bill earlier this month that could restrict the manufacturer’s business operations in the state.

The bill, HB5606, creates an effective prohibition against Tesla opening a store in Michigan. It is currently on Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk and he has until Oct. 21 to sign it into law. Tesla is counting on consumers to pressure him into vetoing it.

According to a blog post that Tesla published on Thursday:

Originally the bill was “a single amendment to existing law designed to ensure that the car dealers can tack additional fees on to the purchase price for all vehicles (from any manufacturer) sold in Michigan.”

However, “using a procedure that prevented legislators and the public at large from knowing what was happening or allowing debate, Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the State. Unsurprisingly, Senator Hune counts the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association as one of his top financial contributors, and his wife’s firm lobbies for the dealers.”

“This amendment goes even further. It also seeks to prevent Tesla from operating a gallery in Michigan that simply provides information without conducting sales. We could even be barred from telling people about our car.”

It went on to say that “this anti-competitive behavior mirrors similar tactics in New Jersey and Missouri, where dealers have resorted to backroom political maneuvers to shore up their monopolies. The dark-of-night tactics highlight the dealers’ concerns that their arguments don’t stand up well to public scrutiny.”