New Hampshire "Auto Dealers Bill of Rights" Paves Way for Tesla Motors

Governor Maggie Hassan recently signed the so called New Hampshire "Auto Dealers Bill of Rights." Auto dealers had complained that manufacturers required them to perform costly and unneeded building upgrades every 5-7 years. This will surely benefit New Hampshire Auto Dealers. If you've driven down Route 1 near the traffic circle in Portsmouth you'll notice at least 5 newly renovated dealerships.

While New Hampshire auto dealers have reason to celebrate, another provision in the bill could come back to bite them down the road.

The electric car company, Tesla Motors, has been fighting state legislatures all over the country. Many states have long standing laws that prevent manufacturers from selling directly to the consumer. They reason that this will allow local franchise dealers to complete on a level playing field and provide better prices to consumers. If the manufacture could sell directly to the public then they could undercut the dealers and put them out of business.

Tesla motors sells its cars online and through small showrooms. Consumers don't drive away with a car, they place an order and the car is delivered in a few weeks. The only problem is that this is considered selling directly to consumers and violates many state laws. In fact Texas has ruled that Tesla cannot sell their cars in its state.

The New Hampshire Auto Dealers Bill of Rights expressly allows for manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. This opens the door for Tesla to setup a showroom in New Hampshire. Auto dealers should be concerned that this sales approach could catch on and more car manufacturers turn to selling direct to the consumer.


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