Billionaire Dan Gilbert Chastises MI Governor Over Anti-Tesla Legislation

Dan Gilbert – founder and chairman of Quicken Loans – used his recent opportunity guest-hosting the Squawk Box on CNBC to air his opinions regarding Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s recent passage of legislation that would effectively lock Tesla Motors out of the state without a franchise dealer network.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Detroit-based billionaire Dan Gilbert has called out the move as sending “a bad message” about the power and influence of lobbyists in legislation. He went on to pose the question asked by many to automotive dealers: “Why don’t you man up and compete like everybody else does?”

Similar anti-Tesla legislation has been proposed in many states, although critics of the proposed Bills include the Federal Trade Commission, which has labeled such legislative maneuvers as “anticompetitive.”

The Detroit Free Press is also reporting that Adam Jonas of Stanley Morgan agrees with billionaire Dan Gilbert, proposing that Tesla Motors’ challenging of the traditional dealer franchise model will “mushroom into a national issue” as the electric car maker gains more significance, provoking further Federal debate.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk had previously commented that a dealership network may be a necessary future step as the company continues to grow, though the California-based automaker is continuing to fight similar legislation across the country, state-by-state.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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