Indiana Senate committee backs off direct-to-customer auto sales bill

(Photos supplied/Tesla Motors and GM)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): An Indiana Senate committee was poised to vote on a measure banning automobile manufacturers from selling directly to consumers but backed down amid backlash.

The panel Thursday rescinded an amendment that would have bypassed a summer study committee on the issue and put the ban into effect beginning July. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

Commerce and Technology chairman James Buck, a Republican from Kokomo, said he wants to make sure lawmakers study the topic after the issue drew fire from opponents who say the bill is an effort by General Motors Co. to cut competition from Tesla Motors Inc. Tesla sells its vehicles directly in its own showrooms and has been a long-time opponent of the ban.

Several other states have also prohibited direct-to-customers sales.

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