Governor Cuomo Announces Agreement with Automobile Dealers and Tesla Motors

Agreement encourages innovation and strengthens auto dealer franchises.

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Albany, NY - March 28th, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an agreement between Tesla Motors, the New York State Automobile Dealers Association and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association to resolve a dispute concerning how auto manufacturers can sell their products to consumers. Under the agreement, Tesla Motors will maintain their five currently licensed retail locations in New York State. Additional Tesla retail locations will be established under a strengthened dealer franchise law. Legislation to implement the agreement will be introduced with the support of leadership in the Senate and Assembly. 

“Today’s agreement reaffirms New York's long-standing commitment to the dealer franchise system, while making sure New York remains a leader in spurring innovative businesses and encouraging zero emissions vehicle sales” said Governor Cuomo. “The agreement is a win-win for consumers, for the franchised auto dealers and manufacturers who play such a vital role in New York's economy, and for cutting edge companies like Tesla. I want to thank Lou Roberti of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association, Neale Kuperman of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, and Elon Musk of Tesla for their willingness to work together to reach this agreement." 


Lou Roberti, Chairman of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association said, "I am delighted that we have been able to come to this agreement.  I want to thank Governor Cuomo for the leadership that he provided that brought this agreement together, as well as the leaders of the Senate and Assembly for their commitment to passing the necessary legislation.  This agreement will serve as a model for other states as they consider how to accommodate Tesla and a distribution system that has served the public well.  Franchised dealers provide price competition, a ready source of trained technicians and parts for repairs and recalls, and create a market for trade-ins.  Franchised dealers also provide thousands of good paying jobs in communities throughout the State. I know I speak for NYSADA’s more than 1,000 franchise dealers and their hard working employees when I say that this is great achievement for all involved."


Neale Kuperman, Chairman of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association said, “On behalf of the more than 400 dealers and our roughly 33,000 employees, the Greater New York Automobile Dealership Association and I want to thank Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver, Majority Leaders Skelos and Klein, and our sponsors, Senator Libous and Assemblyman Gantt for their commitment to a strong franchised dealer system. This reaffirms the State’s long standing goal that cars sold through the dealer-franchise system serve the consumer and their best interests. This legislation will assist the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association and our commitment to providing strong customer service while we continue to grow the market for environmentally friendly zero emission vehicles.”


Diarmuid O'Connell, Vice President, Corporate Development, Tesla Motors, said, “We'd like to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in architecting an agreement whereby Tesla will be able to continue to sell vehicles in its five retail stores in New York State. Under the Governor's leadership, Tesla, the New York franchise dealers and other interested parties were able to engage in a productive dialogue which resulted in a compromise that protects franchise dealers’ existing business while allowing Tesla to continue to pursue its mission of catalyzing the market for sustainable transportation. We also appreciate that many members of the Legislature were open to our message and supported a constructive solution. In particular, we are grateful for the support of Assemblyman David Buchwald, who represents a district in which three Tesla facilities are located. Tesla looks forward to a future in which it can continue to create jobs and invest in New York’s economy while accelerating the transition to sustainable transportation.”


"The country and New York need more clean energy solutions for transportation," said Richard Schrader, the political and legislative director for NRDC NY. "It's good for New York's economy, consumers and environment that this legislation is keeping an electric car innovator in the state."


Senator Tom Libous said, “It’s important that we protect auto dealers and their thousands of employees across New York but also welcome Tesla into the business community. I’m glad we could come to an agreement that works for Tesla, the New York State Automobile Dealers Association and the Greater New York State Automobile Dealers Association. As the Senate sponsor of this legislation, I appreciate their willingness to compromise and come to a resolution.” 


Senator Joe Robach said, “I am happy to see that all involved parties were able to come to an agreement. The important thing, as with any major purchase, is that policies are in place to protect the consumers while allowing access to products. I applaud Governor Cuomo, Tesla Motors, the New York State Automobile Dealers Association and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association for reaching an agreement that will benefit all parties, including the people of New York.”


Assemblyman David Gantt said, "This agreement is a great step forward not only for Tesla and the State’s auto dealers, but for the State’s consumers as well.  Thanks to the collaborative effort of the Assembly, Governor Cuomo, Tesla, the New York State Automobile Dealers Association and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association an agreement has been reached which benefits all New Yorkers.  I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure the successful passage of this legislation."