Tesla scored a big point in the "hard sell" column in North Carolina recently, when the chief executive of one of the states opposing direct-to-consumer vehicle sales got behind the wheel of a Model S electric vehicles, the Silicon Valley Business Journal says.

With Tesla lobbyists recently meeting with more than a dozen North Carolina lawmakers to plead their company's case, Governor Pat McCrory somehow ended up driving the all-electric sedan, which, judging by the stellar reviews for the car, is a good thing. Tesla Chief Elon Musk is preparing to talk to state legislators as well.

Last month, North Carolina lawmakers proposed a bill that would prevent automakers such as Tesla from selling cars to customers without going through third-party dealerships. The bill, backed by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (NCADA), would stop Tesla from opening its planned showroom in the state and also bar Internet sales of the vehicle.

Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York are other states that have taken Tesla on in the automaker's effort to legalize direct sales. Tesla has argued that the nature of the all-electric vehicle would prevent traditional dealers from effectively selling electric vehicles.


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  • 54 Comments
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      So they haven't fired your yellow 'journalist' bee-hind Danny, how could that be? Is your unprofessionalism not so outstanding here? In a sea of mediocrity the foul and lame only seem slightly less than average. Well, I assure your smugness that you are 100% unprofessional and you deserve to be fired. I am going to go on like this until I get the proper response and as soon as I hear Danny is gone I will stop my ad blocking and my insistence that others ad block with me. And truely, this isn't even a hard one, the nastiness of the 'smug' remark is too unprofessional to allow to him to continue writing. I am far from easily offended but IT MATTERS WHO IS BEING OFFENSIVE!!!! Is it someone who takes part in a community of commentors of differing reasoning abilities or THE AUTHOR? When the reporter succumbs to the worst behaviors that are barely tolerated from the uneducated nut jobs in the comments you have a situation where the reporter must go. I'll do his job for free. In any case there are enough folks who do their jobs well that getting rid of the worst one will make the staff stronger and Danny can learn from this and grow. Somewhere else.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Days Ago
        @purrpullberra
        And to those who decide this issue you have to ask yourself just where do you draw the line? If you tolerate this then what is next? Homophobia? Political bashing? Taunting? FROM YOUR 'JOURNALISTS'? The only reasonable and decent way to run a publication like this is to have zero tolerance of bashing your readership. That requires that you fire Danny. Just read him this series of comments about this issue I've so generously offered.
      • 1 Year Ago
      What people need to realize about NADA's proposed law in North Carolina is that it would be the first state to prevent not only direct sales in showrooms, but would prohibit NC residents form even buying online. In effect, NC residents would not be able to purchase a Tesla unless they were to go out of state. States average about 20% of total sales tax revenue from new car sales alone. So hopefully Musk is not only showing NC legislators the greatness of the Model S, but also reminding them NC will miss out on tax revenue. Tesla could possibly prevail in court (although Ford failed at this, so no guarantees), but that could take years, and Tesla can't wait that long. Model S sales are doing just fine despite these protectionist laws. What Musk's efforts are really geared toward (I believe) is getting everything set up for the new Model X, which will have a much higher production and thus will need an extensive sales network. I've read that the average dealer markup is 6%. Auto dealers claim that they are pillars of the community and pass on this markup to little league teams and such (which is just another form of advertising, and is a tax write-off, anyway). I say, I'll save that 6% and donate to a charity of my choice! It's really more about protecting profits via monopoly rent.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      These dealership owners are begging for a RICO lawsuit for conspiring to hinder free commerce. It is a grotesque and foul person who would interfere with Tesla selling to anyone/everyone directly. No one should be forced to use unnecessary middlemen of dubious repute. Dealerships and their employees are all officially 'part of the problem' even the 'best' of them.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's sad to see Elon Musk and Tesla wasting resources fighting with the State Dealers Associations, over this issue. Car dealers may not be members of the most popular of professions, but they command a lot of support in local communities like North Carolina. Tesla's argument that, "the nature of the all-electric vehicle would prevent traditional dealers from effectively selling electric vehicles" , is a little irrational when ardent EV sales-folk like Paul Scott of Downtown Nissan LA, or Serra Chevrolet in Southfield, Mich's Greg Brown, Jeremy Dixon, Wanda Cater, and hundreds more are successfully selling EV's. If Elon Musk really believes it's essential for the success of Tesla to establish his own sales network, he would be better of enlisting the support of the NADA, to pursue the his own compromise offer. The terms of that offer would see both sides, get what they need, (if not what they want) and could then lobby as a united front against the OEM's, to allow special trading conditions for Tesla at a federal level. This compromise would allow for a period of adjustment. Tesla could pursue it's direct sale method, while maintaining the status-quo between OEM's and franchised dealers. It would also provide a valuable 'cooling off' period for both industry and legislators to re-evaluate the practical future direction of Auto sales regulations, without the pressure of an intense debate, based on political ideology. It's a time for conciliation, not disruption.
        Grendal
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Marcopolo
        While philosophically a salesperson is a salesperson and should be able to sell any product. For most salespeople this is just not true (I've worked with and hired well over a thousand). they are just as flawed as any of us and can't help but have their biases on the product they sell. Most are driven by commission to focus on the product that makes them the most money. Also they sell the product that they understand the best. For those reasons I think Elon Musk is very justified in believing that a generic salesperson, when faced with a choice, will focus on an ICE car over an EV. I don't think this means forever but definitely in the near future. I still think some form of compromise would work best. Dealers are competitive. Bet Elon that his people can sell 10 Model S's in a week and convince Elon that their way will work. Just a random thought....
        Ricky St. Vincent
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Marcopolo
        a car dealership makes most of their money from service. EV's by nature dont require the same level of service that an ICE needs. EV's are far more reliable mechanically. There are hundreds fewer moving parts in an EV. If a dealership was selling EVs and ICE on the same lot, they would be stupid not to push the ICE.
      Electron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Go Tesla! Hopefully it succeeds in convincing those NC lawmakers that the antiquated dealer system just wouldn´t work for it and would be a major obstacle on its road to success. The whole affair is pretty weird anyway since there really isn´t anything to be gained here by dealer organisations. There are no existing franchise Tesla dealership facing `unfair` competition and as for a slice of the pie: Tesla will be far less than 1% of the market for a long time to come. Makes one wonder if NADA isn't just acting as an agent for oil interests here. They in fact do have a lot to gain from any action that will slow Tesla down. Mostly because of Tesla's disruptive supercharger network. Free long range travel? Not of the oil industry can help it I reckon. I predict a lot more nasty stuff will come Tesla's way.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hmm. Where did my comment go? There wasn't anything offensive in it. Maybe someone was offended by the word b*tchy... Weird.
        Thereminator
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Grendal
        I'm sorry...We have determined that you have "discriminated" against other posters.You have violated ordnance 4407E under the "Free Speech" Act.Please review said ordnance in so that you will know how to be legally and correctly free in future instances. Bureau of finale Equality
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Grendal
        Two of mine disappeared too.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal Maybe not censorship, just a computer glitch ?.....
      grantisgr8
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla is going to have to take these stupid states to court to settle it once and for all. The states cannot restrict interstate commerce. It's as simple as that.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Days Ago
        @grantisgr8
        @ grantisgr8 What 'restriction of interstate commerce" ? The constitution allows the federal government the 'power to regulate interstate commerce ". In the absence of federal law, state laws apply. No state is preventing Tesla selling cars in any state, just insisting that Tesla trades in accordance to local regulations applied to all motor vehicles sales, without discrimination.
      Grendal
      • 2 Days Ago
      You shouldn't have dropped all those f-bombs all over the place. :)
      Elisa Jed
      • 10 Months Ago
      I was very surprised when this bill went forward. I understand why the dealerships don't want this to occur, but I don't think they have a very valid reason. I think the showroom should go forward and have direct sales. Elisa Jed | http://alliancecomcredit.com/factoring.php
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      who sponsored the bill, what has the governor said about it, is there any other legislation to loosen controls on dealers/Tesla Honestly Danny...
      sodajerk847
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hate to inject Apple into this debate but imagine where Apple would be today if they were prevented from opening their own stores to sell direct to the consumer. While not entirely attributable, there's a direct correlation between the opening of their stores and their success.
        Nick
        • 2 Days Ago
        @sodajerk847
        Yes. Not only for image, but their profit margins are just so much higher.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would think that luxury and small time automakers would be exempt from this. I mean, I would have to travel to a different state to buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini. It is a jobs program for the locals though. And it provides some state tax income to the local/state governments. I think we will see this more and more as the machines/internet take over for people.
        Weapon
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        You pay for taxes at registration, this will just make the process a hassle and end up with less taxes for the state as people register the car in neighboring state.
        aatheus
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        Tesla needs to have showrooms in NC in order to show off the car to people. They have a business presence in the state. IIRC they are therefore required to collect sales tax and pay it to NC. So NC gets their sales tax either way. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
          raktmn
          • 2 Days Ago
          @aatheus
          Yes, sales tax on the car itself is paid in the state it is registered, not the state it is purchased. The taxes NC would lose would be any sales taxes on parts, accessories, and services purchased at a dealership, and any state taxes on employee's salaries and commissions that might apply. Property tax on the land and building the dealership is in would also be lost. Also possibly a fee for a temp. tag, depending on the state the car was bought in.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Ryan
        We have both a Ferrari and Lamborghini dealer in NC.
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