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Tesla turf war with GM placed on hold

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A potential turf war between electric automaker Tesla and the traditional car manufacturers has been put on hold at the Statehouse.

Tesla has won a temporary victory because an amendment that would require it to sell cars through a traditional dealership model starting in 2018 won’t be voted on this year.

Tesla sells its cars direct to consumers over the Internet. It does have a small showroom at the Fashion Mall but has no service department or other features generally found at an auto dealership.

It is also preparing to sell cheaper models that would better compete with cars from General Motors, one of the companies that pushed for new legislation.

Committee Chairman Jim Buck is on GM’s side of the argument. “We also recognize that China is more than ready to start shipping things that same way,” said Sen. Buck (R-Kokomo.) “So is India.”

“We’re trying to protect and have consistency in our dealership licensing,” he said.

Senate Republicans decided not to pursue that approach this year. State lawmakers will now study that idea over the summer and consider taking action next year.