Rivian Faces Ban From Michigan Car Dealers in Direct-Sales Fight

Rivian Automotive Inc. R1T electric pickup truck

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Michigan auto dealers are trying to block startup electric carmakers including Rivian Automotive Inc. and Lucid Motors Inc. from following in Tesla Inc.’s footsteps by selling vehicles directly to consumers and servicing them in the state.

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature last week would block any manufacturer other than Tesla from selling cars to customers without a dealer as an intermediary and from owning and operating service and repair facilities. It could come up for a vote as soon as Tuesday, according to a Rivian official.

The 11-year-old company has raised about $6 billion from backers including Ford Motor Co. and Amazon.com Inc. It expects to begin production of its first two vehicles — a battery-powered pickup and a sport-utility vehicle — by mid-2021.

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