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Connecticut Auto Dealers Appear at Capitol to Oppose Tesla Bill

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Robots construct the Tesla Model S at the company's factory in Fremont, California.

Owners and managers of Connecticut car dealerships are urging state lawmakers to abandon legislation that would allow an electric car maker to sell vehicles directly to consumers.

About 70 auto dealers were at the state Capitol on Wednesday meeting with legislators to protest a bill benefiting Tesla Motors. Current state law prevents car manufacturers from selling their cars to consumers.

A bill before the legislature's Transportation Committee would make an exception for Tesla. 

James Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, said Tesla should use Connecticut's system of mostly family-owned dealership to sell its cars. He said dealers "can sell cars better for Tesla." He also contends existing franchise laws provide protections to consumers.

Rep. Tony Guerrera, the Transportation Committee's co-chairman, has suggested a limited number of Tesla stores.

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