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As I See It

Outdated law change could finally lead to production at Foxconn



Electric cars may be the future of the Foxconn plant in Wisconsin. There is potential progress as Foxconn has signed a deal with the Fiskers Company to produce their electric vehicles. The question remains whether Foxconn’s Mt. Pleasant plant will be where the cars are built. The answer may depend on the future of a Wisconsin law, which prevents car manufacturers in the state from selling directly to consumers. Under current law dating back to the 1930’s, new cars sold in Wisconsin can only be sold at franchised dealerships. The CEO of Fisker wants that law changed, suggesting Wisconsin won’t be a chosen location for Foxconn to build its cars unless the law is changed to allow direct sales to consumers. Auto industry lobbyists don’t like that, saying car sales people are advocates between the consumer and manufacturer, and taking dealers out of the picture could harm consumers.  But why shouldn’t Fisker, or any other car maker, be allowed to sell direct? That is what Carvana and others are already doing. This law is nearly 100 years old, and probably outdated. Tesla has a showroom and service center in Milwaukee even though they can’t sell their cars there. That’s silly. Our lawmakers should end this law in hopes that doing so will finally put Wisconsinites to work at the 8th Wonder of the World.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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