Photo above is a Rivian R1S from the EV Club EV Showcase Event at the Hotel Marcel in New Haven
Rivian Fends Off Dealership Lawsuit
The electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian, which currently produces the fully electric R1T pickup truck and R1S sport utility vehicle, is finally able to move forward with its proposed Connecticut service center. The Town of Shelton originally granted Rivian an approval to build a service and delivery center at 2 Mountain View Drive in October 2022. T D Properties, owner of 329 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, along with Mario D’Addario Buick, Inc., a dealership that does business from that premises, sued Shelton to stop the service center.
The Usual Dealership Obstruction Playbook
We’ve seen this movie before. When a company that employs a direct sales model seeks to open a service center, the dealerships do all they can, including going to court, to obstruct it. Direct sales is not legal in CT and the dealers further attempt to make it as inconvenient to service the vehicles as it is to buy them. In so doing, the dealers seek to restrict competition and consumer choice.
In the case of East Hartford, the dealers successfully bullied the city into rescinding an already granted permit for Tesla to build a service center. The dealers showed up in force for a hearing regarding a proposed Tesla service center in South Windsor, and the town did not grant the permit. (Tesla is now building a large sales and service center just over the state line in Chicopee, MA, and is building a sales and delivery center on tribal land in Uncasville.)
Shelton and Rivian fought the lawsuit and won every ruling. The case has been extensively litigated with numerous motions filed, along with an appeal. The court gave a final ruling denying the plaintiff’s appeal on October 18th. This is the case detail page of the court docket.
Rivian has moved quickly to break ground. Originally, it had hoped to open its doors in the summer of this year. Starting around now, an optimistic time frame would be the second quarter of 2024. When we have more definitive information, we will provide an update.
We look forward to welcoming Rivian to Connecticut!