CARA remains opposed to any legislation providing Tesla Corporation a Loophole from existing pro consumer and pro Connecticut based businesses. All CARA members and their employees are urged to call your State Representatives and Senator to express our strong disagreement with giving special treatment to an out of state corporation at the expense of the 270 local auto dealerships and our 14,000 hardworking employees.
Dealers have invested millions in a franchise system and in the physical dealership structures that go into that system under contracts with the manufacturers governed by laws with the state that protects the consumer if something goes wrong with the car, fosters local competition among dealers, and creates a balanced system between national manufacturers and local dealerships.
Tesla has already agreed to a franchised store in the state of Virginia and its founder has stated in SEC filings that ultimately Tesla will need to franchise to meet its plans to expand its product line. Why are we changing the law if Tesla is admitting they will create franchises in the future?
Supporting local dealers means local good paying jobs stay here. Tesla does not manufacturer here; they would rather not own taxable property locally and they prefer to outsource their repair work than have locally sited dealership repair shops do the work. Essentially, they want a system that will have no economic commitment locally. Online sales based in California do not create Connecticut jobs.
Any claim Tesla makes to creating jobs would occur under a franchise dealership, in fact Tesla direct sale stores would employ just ½ the number of employees because they use regional sometimes out of state repair shops and remote F&I offices accessed via a computer rather than on site. In 2015 and 2016, the United Auto Workers AW opposed granting Tesla a loophole.