Ban on direct auto sales in Indiana sent to summer study committee

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Senate committee that was poised to vote on a measure banning auto manufacturers from selling directly to consumers has backed down amid backlash.

Instead, the panel voted to send the matter to a summer committee for further study.

The bill would stop Tesla Motors Inc. from selling cars in Indiana just as the auto maker is set to release several new, more affordable models. Tesla sells directly to customers in its own showrooms.

General Motors Co. supports the ban, arguing Tesla’s direct sales are unfair to traditional manufacturers that rely on franchised dealerships to sell cars.

Opponents say the bill is an effort by General Motors to cut competition from Tesla.

Commerce and Technology Committee Chairman James Buck says lawmakers need more time to study the issue.

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