Connecticut auto dealers to protest Tesla bill

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut auto dealers are making it clear to state lawmakers they oppose legislation that would allow an electric car maker to sell vehicles directly to consumers.

Owners and managers of dealerships planned a rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest a bill benefiting Tesla Motors.

Current state law prevents car manufacturers from selling their cars to consumers. A bill before the legislature’s Transportation Committee would make an exception for Tesla.

The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, which organized the rally, contends Tesla should use Connecticut’s existing system of mostly family-owned dealership to sell its cars. The group argues existing franchise laws provide protections to consumers.

Rep. Tony Guerrera, the Transportation Committee’s co-chairman, said the bill will be subject to negotiations. He has suggested a limited number of Tesla stores.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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