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As electric transportation options increase, car dealers butt heads with manufacturers

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

* Capitol News Illinois

A national clean energy trade organization has released a report showing growth in electric transportation-related jobs in Illinois could position the state to lead the domestic supply chain.

Advanced Energy Economy, an industry association which promotes advanced energy technologies and services, released its “Electrifying Illinois” report which shows the state is on pace to reach 83 percent job growth in electric transportation-related work by 2024, regardless of legislative action.

The report was funded by the AEE and prepared by the research group BW Research Partnership with a focus on examining economic and job opportunities as the automotive industry transitions to electric.

The anticipated growth would drive the workforce numbers up from the current 5,200 workers in Illinois to roughly 9,500 workers within the next three years, or less than three years, according to the study, which used multiple data collection methods to analyze the state’s electric vehicle supply chain.

* But here’s Christine Hatfield at Public Radio

The Illinois car dealer lawsuit against electric automaker Rivian is the latest chapter in a nationwide debate over the options consumers have to buy cars.

Many states, including Illinois, have laws to restrict new car sales to independent dealers. University of Michigan law professor Daniel Crane said those are a product of the days the Big Three manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler dominated car sales, as opposed to the variety of automakers that exist now.

“They had disproportionate bargaining power vis-a-vis their franchise dealers,” said Crane. “You had just the Big Three, dealers were mostly mom and pop organizations, and the argument that dealers made was that the Big Three were taking unfair advantage of them.”

Dealerships aren’t necessarily mom and pop businesses anymore. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average new car dealer in Illinois made close to $49 million in sales last year. That’s before taking services and parts into account. […]

For a time, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office said it wouldn’t renew Tesla’s dealer licenses because the company-owned showrooms broke state law. Eventually, Tesla reached a compromise with the Secretary of State and the auto dealers. That deal allowed Tesla to have up to 13 dealer licenses. The Secretary of State’s office assured dealers at the time it wouldn’t grant licenses to other manufacturers.

But Rivian’s entrance onto the scene has forced state agencies to take another look at the laws in place. Last July, an informal opinion from the Attorney General’s office said state law doesn’t explicitly require manufacturers to go through independent dealers to sell their vehicles. The Secretary of State office has subsequently stood by that opinion.

More here.

* Related…

* More charging ports will change electric car options in the Quad-Cities

* Porsche’s Electric Taycan Sales on Course to Eclipse Iconic 911

- Posted by Rich Miller        

2 Comments
  1. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 2:14 pm:

    Outdated law and needless regulation.

    I can’t see Ford or Chevy wanting to end their relationships with existing car dealers. So allow the new guys or even the old guys to set up factory stores.

    Works in the fast food and cell phone industry - corporate stores and franchisees sell the exact same products in the same towns.


  2. - ddp76 - Friday, Apr 16, 21 @ 3:26 pm:

    They want e vehicles to comply with the law and sell through dealerships. But they don’t want the SOS to issue licenses for said dealerships? Got it.


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