The appeal, filed Friday, had been expected.
In the Dec. 19 ruling, Associate Judge David Atkins decided the Illinois secretary of state was correct in issuing dealer licenses to the electric vehicle startups, as it previously had for Tesla Inc. The ruling opens the door for manufacturers to follow Tesla's direct-sales model. Joe McMahon, the association's executive director, previously told Automotive News the decision gives special treatment to EV makers.
Direct sales from manufacturers result in a monopoly with no price benefit, McMahon said in a Jan. 5 statement.
The state's dealer association, which represents 700 dealerships, cited the Illinois Vehicle Code and Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act as stating that public vehicle sales must be made through licensed and independent franchised dealers.
The dominant model of using franchised dealers for new-vehicle sales is not mandatory under state law, Atkins said. McMahon confirmed the appeal was filed on the basis of these laws.
"You cannot be a manufacturer and a dealer," McMahon said. "That's in the law, so we think it's pretty clear."