Auto Dealers Bill

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WISH- There’s a new car service sweeping the nation, and it’s worrying Indiana auto dealerships across the state.

So much so, that Hoosier lawmakers have stepped in. It’s called an automotive subscription service.  You pay a car manufacturer a flat fee every month, and you can drive a brand new car every 30 days, in certain cities.

Car makers call it a money-saver….but dealerships worry it could spell disaster.

We asked people in Downtown Indianapolis what they know about auto car subscription services.
Brooke Wilcoxson, of Fort Wayne, said  “Oh! Nothing!” With a laugh.

Vehicle subscription services are emerging as a new way to own a car. For example, JD Power says Hyundai has one for $275 a month in California, Volvo will have one for $600 a month. JD Power said Cadillac’s program starts at $1,800 a month.

Madyson Piper, of Marcellus, Michigan, said  “Yeah, that’s a lot of money. I literally pay that much money for tuition a month.”

Matt Bell with the Indiana Automobile Dealers Association said dealers are watching the trend with a high-beamed focus.

Matt Bell explained “We’re concerned with where the role of the Indiana auto dealer is in that relationship. It’s the dealer that the customer is used to interacting with.”

The worry, Bell said, is the dealerships would be driven out of the equation and potential jobs would disappear.

“Where do the 25,000 folks employed by 432 auto dealers fit in that equation?” Bell asked. “We want to make sure they do fit. We want to make sure there’s a local connection.”

Which is where State Rep. Ed Soliday’s bill comes in. Already overwhelmingly approved in the House, Bell said the bill, in part, would let lawmakers put the brakes on these services coming to Indiana.

“We take time out. Say what does this really mean? How does it work in relation to the Indiana Consumer? How do we make sure their needs are served? And study that before that model is prevalent and rolled out across the state,” Bell said.

A service some people don’t seem to have much of an opinion on.

Daisy Ciudadreal, od California, said “It’s a car rental!”

The bill is assigned to a committee, but a hearing date isn’t set yet.

To read the complete bill, click here

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