Tesla managed to work around the dealership franchise format.
The Michigan Auto Dealer Association is trying to block Rivian from doing the same.
Rivian has big plans for 2021 as they will be ready and able to sell their hotly-anticipated fully-electric R1S SUV and R1T pickup. Their plan is to cut out the middle-man, dealership in other words, and sell directly to customers. The Michigan Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) will do everything it can for this not to happen.
The MADA is still upset about the fact that Tesla won its case against them this past January. The Michigan attorney general granted a workaround to Tesla and Rivian would like the same deal. According to Bloomberg.com, the MADA wants to avoid a repeat and has introduced a bill last week that would prevent any manufacturer, other than Tesla, from completing transactions without an intermediary.
“This is a bullseye on Rivian and Lucid and any EV manufacturer that would come in after Tesla does,” said James Chen, Rivian’s vice president of public policy. Auto dealers are “protecting a monopoly through legislation.”
All other long-standing car companies adhere to the MADA which represents roughly 600 new-car dealerships. The source story says that a decision may be handed down as early as tomorrow.