The Association alleges that the law requires only franchised dealers to sell new vehicles. While the Association also alleges the State turned a blind eye to the practice.
The lawsuit also names Lucid Motors, who plans to open up a sales studio in Oak Brook, Illinois, later this year. This lawsuit is similar to the ones filed in both Texas and Connecticut.
Rivian and other direct-to-consumer EV companies saw an opportunity after the Illinois Attorney General’s office released an informal opinion in July 2020. In the opinion, the State noted the motor vehicle law does not expressly require manufacturers to establish franchise dealerships.
This is not the first lawsuit that the Dealers Association has levied against EV companies. In 2012, the Association took Tesla to court over its direct-to-consumer sales model in the State. In May 2019, Tesla agreed to an administrative order from the State to limit dealer licences to 13 in Illinois.
There is more to come on this story, but EV’s direct-to-consumer model is certainly disruptive!
Source: Chicago Tribune