vanderhall motor works laguna roadster

The Laguna Roadster is manufactured by Vanderhall Motor Works in Provo, Utah but cannot be purchased by Utahns due to a state law that disallows car manufacturers from selling direct to consumers.

Have you seen an auto-cycle?

The three-wheeled custom cars are sleek, sporty and novel — and made in Utah.

If you live in Utah, however, you can’t buy them, thanks to the same state law that shut down an already-built Tesla Motors dealership last March.

Vanderhall Motor Works, at 1955 Ironton Blvd. in Provo, manufactures its Laguna Roadsters to order at the flat price of $77,000, according to its website, but can’t discuss its product with, let alone sell it to, Utahns who might be interested in the vehicles.

The Utah law in question bars a vehicle manufacturer from owning more than 45 percent of any dealership and selling directly to consumers, according to a report from the Associated Press.

“We want the law changed. We think the law is inappropriate for a free market,” Daniel Boyer, Vanderhall’s marketing director, told the Standard-Examiner. “Utah is more or less the king of direct sales in the U.S., so why is the law in the books?”

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Vanderhall brass detailed their business experiences in an interview with Libertas Institute, a libertarian policy organization with a self-stated mission to “advance the cause of liberty in Utah.”

Steve Hall, owner of Vanderhall, told Libertas his business model doesn’t support franchising. His customers choose design details of their roadster and the car is made to order, he said, so they might sell only 250 vehicles in a year.

Legislation was introduced in 2015 that would have paved the way for companies like Vanderhall and Tesla to operate manufacture-direct sales operations, but it did not pass.

The sponsor of last year’s bill, Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, is reintroducing an updated bill with the same purpose, HB394, which Boyer said will be voted upon in March.

Unless or until HB394 passes, interested Utah consumers must follow the disclaimer currently posted at the top of Vanderhall’s website: “Move to another state, then contact us.”

Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net, follow on Twitter @bhein3 and find him on Facebook.

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