Illinois dealers to continue Rivian, Lucid direct sales fight

The Illinois Auto Dealers Association last month responded to a court decision that favored Rivian Automotive and Lucid Group in a direct sales dispute after the state government licensed EV startups over the objections of dealers. I plan to appeal.

Association Executive Director Joe McMahon said: car news Dealer groups held a meeting the day before to discuss the judge’s ruling on the side of state officials issuing licenses in 2021, Friday said.

“We’ve talked about it quite extensively, but we all feel that the judges don’t see the law very well in this situation. Illinois law says you can’t be a manufacturer or a dealer. It’s very clear: don’t sell directly,” McMahon said.

“We welcome Lucid, Tesla and Rivian, but they should be on par with the car dealers,” McMahon said. He said electric car manufacturers generally get special treatment from politicians because of the popularity of EVs.

Rivian will begin production of the R1T pickup, R1S SUV, and EDV electric delivery van in Normal, Illinois in 2021 and employs approximately 5,000 people. Rivian purchased a factory abandoned by Mitsubishi Motors in 2017.

But McMahon said dealers in Illinois employ 45,000 people statewide. It should be part of any discussion about the franchise model, in addition to the legal text, he says.

“When dealing with the world of politics, electricity is shiny new and incentivizing everyone,” McMahon said. But dealer associations are on the right side of the Illinois Automobile Franchise Act and the Illinois Automobile Ordinance, he added.

In a Dec. 19 ruling, Lieutenant Judge David Atkins said the Illinois Attorney General was correct in issuing dealer licenses to Rivian and Lucid in 2021.

Tesla is already the largest luxury automaker in the U.S., with Rivian and Lucid following in Tesla’s footsteps with their own direct-to-consumer models, and other EV makers such as Fisker and VinFast preparing to do so. .

Unlike some states that have passed laws that explicitly prohibit direct sales of new vehicles, Illinois rejected this in 2017, opening the door to non-franchise sellers under current state laws and regulations. the judge ruled.

“The Illinois Legislature has had ample opportunity, and at least once, has explicitly considered banning an automaker from licensing as its dealership.” It is reasonable to conclude that there was no intent.”

In an email, Rivian said it had no comment on the ruling. Lucid did not respond to a request for comment.

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