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Lordstown Motors Wants Change In State Law To Sell Directly To Consumers

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns stands next to his company's all electric Endurance pickup.
Lordstown Motors
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Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns stands next to his company's all electric Endurance pickup.

The electric truck manufacturer that took over the shuttered Lordstown General Motors plant near Youngstown wants a change in state law to help it sell vehicles in Ohio. This could set up a clash with the state’s car dealerships.

Ohio law doesn’t allow direct sales of vehicles by manufacturers, a longstanding protection for auto dealers.

But the new Lordstown Motors wants to sell its electric light-duty Endurance pickup directly to commercial and fleet customers in Ohio.

Freshman state Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta), whose district includes Lordstown, is sponsoring a bill that would create a carve-out specificially for the company.

“The legislation that we propose today very specifically applies to sales of electric vehicles in Ohio, headquartered EV manufacturer who builds its product in Ohio. This bill will not impact sales at any auto dealer in the state," Loychik said.

The law on manufacturer-owned auto sales was last changed in 2014 to allow three Tesla stores in Ohio.

However, Ohio Auto Dealers Association notes Honda and other vehicle makers that also work in Ohio aren’t asking for a carve-out for themselves.

After GM closed its Lordstown factory in 2019, it was purchased by Lordstown Motors, which has hired around 500 workers and plans to start fulfilling orders this fall.