East Hartford, Connecticut, has withdrawn a building permit for a planned Tesla service center. The move limits the freedoms of Tesla owners in the state and demonstrates that dealers' greed will always take precedence over consumer interests.
On the evening of March 8, Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) voted unanimously to revoke building permits for a planned Tesla service center at 300 Connecticut Boulevard, according to Hartford Business. This service center was supposed to be the third location in the state, and was to further enhance the experience of owning the company’s cars for many consumers in the area.
The plan to build a new service center was first announced in April 2021 when PZC signed off on the plan. However, this decision was criticized by dealers, who mounted a powerful campaign to counter Tesla's plans. In addition, Hoffman Auto Group of East Hartford filed a lawsuit alleging that Tesla, which sells cars directly to consumers, bypassing dealerships, is trying to circumvent a state law that prohibits such sales.
Thus, the building permit was revoked and the property was returned to its original owner. By taking this step, the dealers have only protected themselves, with no regard for the interests of consumers in Connecticut, who will not have access to a service center for their EVs. Despite the obviousness of these actions, dealers are trying to deceive consumers, claiming that they are doing it only in their interests. However, in fact, in fear of losing profits, they are ready to sacrifice what is necessary and important only for consumers. In this state of affairs, healthy competition, which could benefit Connecticutians, can never be created in the state.
In Connecticut, auto manufacturers cannot sell their products directly to customers without a dealer as an intermediary. The ruling bars Tesla, which only uses a direct-to-consumer approach, from establishing a presence in Connecticut other than opening galleries and service centers, which it has done in Greenwich and Milford. Tesla, consumers, and some lawmakers in the General Assembly fought for years to repeal the dealer franchise law, but the legislature never repealed or changed it.
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