When the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission decided on Tuesday to block Tesla Motors from selling cars from its stores in the Garden State, it may have inadvertently kicked a hornet's nest. Perhaps they thought no one was looking. Maybe they imagined no one would really care. If so, they were wrong. People do care, and there's some stinging criticism going on.

One individual in particular cares an awful lot. As co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk takes extreme umbrage when his baby is subject to what he feels is unfair treatment. Whether it be from the media or from politically-manipulative foes like automobile dealer's associations.

Never one to hold back, the entrepreneur has penned a piece directly to the people of New Jersey, making his case for manufacturer-to-consumer sales. It also explains how the company will operate there as of April 1st when the new rules take effect. He also pointedly questions the dealers association's reasoning for asking for the change. And we quote,

The rationale given for the regulation change that requires auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures "consumer protection". If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of "protection", this is obviously untrue.

The uproar is not limited to Tesla insiders, or even the automaker's many fans. Apparently, people still care whether or not their government reeks of corruption, and in this case the smell wafting from New Jersey has attracted a lot of people's attention. A White House petition asking the Obama administration to "Inform New Jersey that markets should be free for Tesla Motors and for everyone" has attracted the attention of over 97,000 signatures 2,615 signatures in a few short days. The petition, though not legally binding, and the outrage in comments following articles on the issue ought to be a warning bell to politicians who trumpet the importance of the free market (or environmental concerns, as the case may be), and then act seemingly contrary to those convictions.

For now, Tesla is said to be mulling a legal remedy, but we would not be surprised to see a Political Action Committee (PAC) arise in the future that could take the company's concerns directly to voters. You can read Musk's letter, "To the People of New Jersey" here. If you're so inclined, you can add your name to the petition here. As always, feel free to let us know your take in the Comments.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 150 Comments
      Robert Fahey
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm confused. The governor says Tesla was outside the law all along. If that's true, why was Tesla allowed to operate at all? And what was the point of this recent move to outlaw Tesla's business model if it was already outlawed?
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        @ Robert Fahey Tesla applied and was granted two licences. A condition of those licences was that the applicant would operate those licences in accordance with the NJ regulations. Telsa breached, and admitted it never intended to obey, the regulations so the licences were revoked. To comply with the regulations, all Tesla has to do is grant a qualified person, a franchise, and start selling cars in NJ, as a franchised dealer. The Franchisee must be a person qualified to hold a NJ Auto-dealers licence, and comply at all times with the terms of that licence. Just like a Nissan Leaf dealer.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          That is an interesting spin on things. --"The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which includes members of Christie’s cabinet, unanimously approved the proposal yesterday in Trenton, delaying public comment on the matter until after the hearing. " So why would they need to vote on something just to revoke what was already revoked?
      James
      • 1 Year Ago
      10,000 signatures! No wait 97,000 signatures. In actuality, only 2,000 signatures. This whole article is a complete mess.
        polishparalt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James
        James, James, James....don't you know, the truth is overrated? At 11:49 AM Eastern Time on March 15 there were exactly 2,531 signatures on the petition. A petition that was created on March 11. So, if my math is correct that means they had a "rocketing" number of about 642 signatures a day! OMG, the White House petition web site must be overwhelmed. And how many of those signatures are from NJ anyway? For a petition that's supposed to let the "good people decide" maybe the petition should be sent to the Gov. of NJ and signed by the good citizens of NJ where the problem is? Cut to scene of Claude Rains standing in a bar with a bemused look on his face...."I'm shocked, shocked to find and article written about an e-vehicle, supporting the CEO of the company, misquoting figures in the same article about a petition drive is going on at an auto green website, simply shocked!"
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James
        https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-tesla-motors-sell-directly-consumers-all-50-states/bFN7NHQR 130,000 signatures.
        Domenick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James
        Thanks for pointing that out. I somehow misread the petition (several times) without somehow noticing what should have been obvious. The text has been corrected to reflect the actual number of signatures and the title changed.
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      The dealers need to lose these ridiculous laws NOW...!!! Tesla had NO franchise deals and did not have to operate under the existing laws so these dealers associations are making NEW laws (or in this case a backroom deal) to prevent Tesla from selling direct. I believe that this violates several interstate commerce laws... I WILL NEVER BUY A CAR FROM A DELAER AGAIN!!!! I will buy used if I have to to avoid them...
      Julius
      • 1 Year Ago
      "For now, Tesla is said to be mulling a legal remedy..." I for one would love to see what they can come up with. The biggest issue is if said legal remedy winds up affecting other automakers as well.
        Grendal
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Julius
        I would agree. Tesla fundamentally doesn't want to change what others are doing at all. Tesla just wants to go about doing what they are doing in the way that they are doing it. If dealerships simply agree that Tesla is selling a different type of car then all their franchise laws are still in effect because what they sell is different from what Tesla sells. The only danger to dealerships is that as all cars go to electric that then the argument goes away.
          jeff
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          Agreed, Tesla is NOT under any obligation to use dealers to sell their cars. They DO NOT have any franchises so there is nothing to protect. These NEW laws the dealers are fighting for are most likely in violation of many interstate commerce laws...
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          @L4 When is business ever fair! C'mon, did Apple say sorry when their IPod killed the Sony Walkman? When VHS killed the Betamax was there an outcry? How about Plasma, LCD and now LED TV's wiping out the old huge tube based TV? The new technology supplants the old technology and having legislation to hamper the new technology is how you get way behind in this world. How do think that GM, Ford, and Chrysler fell from being the premiere manufacturers in the world? Possibly having to appease their dealerships had something to do with it. Ever ask yourself why there hasn't been a successful new manufacturer in the last 75 years?
          Level4
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          You do know that Tesla is not the only EV on sale today. You would be giving Tesla a upper hand on the competition of the EV sales that currently have to go tru dealership outlets... I.E Nissan leaf...
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      US sales for the Model S in 2013 checked in at ~ 17,650 units, which puts Tesla’s electric sedan well ahead of its large luxury sedan competitors. Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 13,303 BMW 7 Series: 10,932 Lexus LS: 10,727 Audi A8: 6,300 Porsche Panamera: 5,421 I bet that luxury brand dealers are not too happy about this.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Remember, what you hear on Fox clown news, is Never True: http://iacknowledge.net/two-years-later-jeep-plant-romney-said-was-going-to-china-is-still-in-ohio-and-booming/
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        I am a dyed in the wool liberal fighting against what I perceive as terrible ideas being promulgated by the Republican party and I hate Fox news. But this is not an article about that, and there is nothing unique to the republicans that make them any worse or more corrupt than democrats when it comes to money in politics. EZEE2 and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to politics, but in this case I am siding with him. Shame on Christie. Shame on Cuomo. Shame on the supreme court for destroying any chance of a truly representative democracy when they ruled that money = speech. We can waste our time sniping at each other and nothing is gained. Instead we need to figure out where there are commonalities and work to strengthen those. There will plenty of time to call each other names later.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      Free market capitalism in America? Not a chance! That's pure government propaganda issued on behalf of special interest groups. After the government forced the taxpayers to bailout the LehmanBros, AIG, BearStearns, GM, Chrysler, Citicorp, and other mismanaged corporations, how can anyone claim America has a free market? While the average working stiff is struggling to provide a future for his family, the inept CEOs of these bailed out corporations continue to earn 7 digit salaries, courtesy of the taxpayers whose generosity is made possible by government coercion. Punctuating the fact that government corruption and grease have destroyed free market capitalism in USA, the exclamation point is NADA which forces every new car consumer to buy from selected dealerships under the guise of 'consumer protection.' And this scam has been going on for over 75 years because corrupt politicians were greased under the table. Imagine if all your electronics, appliance, furniture, and clothing had to be purchase through this gauntlet. If a consumer in Asia, Europe, and Africa is not forced to buy a new vehicle from a NADA-like affliliate, why should an American consumer be coerced? Is this the American 'exceptionalism' every politicians have been boasting ? What a fraud perpetrated on the gullible Americans ! Americans are a pitiful people, lying down as the NADA mow them into pieces or as agreeable lambs herded into the slaughter house by the NADA organizers.
        Julius
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I would be very careful about espousing true free-market capitalism in any country, including the US. True free-market capitalism allows unregulated monopolies, and means no taxpayer-supported social safety-net or unemployment payments. This would arguably DEPRESS wages for the little guy. I mean, a true free-market would mean that companies would be legally able to break up unions 1890's style, and the minimum wage wouldn't exist. Ford was an aberration when he paid his workers more - however that was made up by the efficiency of the assembly line process he developed. In today's world, those efficiencies are already in place, and paying workers more is a luxury. Heck, there are economists out there who think that Standard Oil's model of using their efficiencies to generate profits - and then using those profits to buy out or bury competition - is the purest form of free-market capitalism there is. And besides, the Constitution expressly gives the Government the right to REGULATE interstate commerce. I'd also point out that most of TARP actually made the Government a profit.
        mycommentemail
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        So, while I most probably disagree with you on just about every conceivable political issue, there is a lot of overlap with my beliefs here. Especially the part where you write: "While the average working stiff is struggling to provide a future for his family, the inept CEOs of these bailed out corporations continue to earn 7 digit salaries, courtesy of the taxpayers whose generosity is made possible by government coercion. " So my question: how do we fix this?
          mycommentemail
          • 6 Months Ago
          @mycommentemail
          rootstrikers.com (you had a typo) Thanks. Cool website. And hopefully one that tea party members AND us lefties can both get behind.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Getting money out of politics is extremely hard. Lawrence Lessig has a few good, practical ways we can try. rootstikers.org
          mycommentemail
          • 6 Months Ago
          @mycommentemail
          "us lefties" meaning me that is. I wouldn't presume to characterize you.
      eric.sales
      • 1 Year Ago
      China wants the Module S also Europe but here in the country where it's made the Republican want to k ll this car off. The logic is very strange an America car that has won every major award on Earth. This is the picture of American know how. All I can do is shake my head at this, we should be promoting new companies and ways to move product and create new JOBS!
        Marco Polo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @eric.sales
        @ eric.sales Eric, this is not a Republican vs Democrat issue, just as many Democrat politicians are opposed to Tesla's direct sales model from the manufacturer, because they fear it would destroy local employment. Ask yourself this, has that giant (foreign owned) shopping mall near you, full of imported from Asia and third world nations, create more jobs in your local community ? Do you like ringing the manufacturer of you new appliance, and get put on hold to speak to a call centre in India or the Philippines ? When your town's local bank closed down, or was 'relocated', did your standard of living improve ? No one is stopping Tesla selling cars, just requiring Tesla to conform to local regulations.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Joeviocoe Yes, giant corporations and global trade have not only lowered prices, but redistributed wealth. (Primarily from the USA to the PRC and Asia ). However, is that necessarily a good thing? Must everything be sacrificed on the altar of expediency ? Must all potatoes be grown to conform to the size, shape and consistency to suit the fast food industry ? Do you really think that a anonymous corporate executive in Detroit, Fremont, or Yuantang, really know what's best for your town or community, that the local businessman ? Does manufacturers owning the retail outlets, really provide better service or save money ? Or is that just a story, told to justify control. Do you really believe a salaried employee, will provide better service than a local small businessman ? Or will any savings simply be consumed by a corporate bureaucracy when there is not longer any way left to compare. It's not as black and white, as you would like to portray.
          mycommentemail
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Joe, I'm 100 percent in agreement with you. That said, I have to point out one little fallacy in your comment: the giant stores you are referring to ARE the middle men. Doesn't invalidate your argument. Just sayin.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          No, but people do shop at giant stores... because they can lower their prices. That is the capitalism you love. They are allowed to compete... without middlemen taking their 'cut'. Yes, they are "Stopping" Tesla. Local regulations were written too vaguely and at a time when it didn't matter because every automaker signed franchise agreements. That time is past. There was a time when Jim Crow laws were law... maybe we shouldn't be clingy to the past.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          The "invisible hand" of the free market, is NOT necessarily an American hand.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Yes mycomment, I agree... I kinda mixed two separate thoughts That was an analogy based on the paradigm shift of small mom and pop stores being replaced by larger chains that can cut costs the most. For the example of 'cutting out middle men'... I would say that it is akin to Walmart forcing Amazon to have a "brick and mortar" store to comply with laws. Amazon allows drop shipping and other ways to eliminate middlemen and get products direct from producer to consumer, without the need for sitting on a shelf in middle america 'hoping' for a buyer.
          Weapon
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Marco - The reason why our job market has been exploited by PRC and Asia is due to laws that give an advantage to China. For example, USPS will ship me an item from china for like a penny. But try shipping something to china and its going to break the bank. Honestly speaking, manufacturing in the US is no more expensive then China. The biggest reason why they use China is because they don't need to invest in things themselves so it gives them option of limited commitment. The only person who knows what is best for themselves is the consumer. The moment laws are passed preventing the consumer from buying from whoever they want, it is no longer what is best for the consumer. End of the day, people buy who they want to buy from, if the executives in Detroit are unable to meet needs, you buy from someone else. That is what a free market is. If the dealers offer a better service, people will buy from them. But the reason why the dealers are fighting back is simple, they know they are useless and consumers will prefer to go direct. Many dealerships are also owned by large dealership groups. What many don't realize is that dealerships make customer service worse because they create a barrier between the manufacturer and the consumer. If the manufacturer was responsible for their own customer service, they would offer much better service then the dealers. And yes it does save money too as now you don't have to pay the dealer's profit margins.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Weapon You make a valid point about the proliferation of very large dealers. There's the potential for that to occur. But it hasn't occurred yet. NADA reports that 94% of all it's members are still relatively small localised businesses.
          Weapon
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Except you can't just change regulations without a public vote on the issue just because someone bribed you. Tesla followed the rules and regulations, got a legal dealership license. Using the MVC to illegally modify laws passed by the legislature is just that illegal. Once Tesla takes this to court, the change will definitely be thrown out. But the problem here is they did this 20 days before Tesla's license expires. This doesn't give much ample time.
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      Has anyone else considered what Marco Polo does for a living? I believe he sells cars including EVs??? Marco is my memory correct and if so....why are you making all these comments without a disclaimer showing yiur bias?
        Marco Polo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        @ Dave D No, I don't sell cars ! I'm the major shareholder of a company which builds, modifies, converts, rents and sells specialist EV's. It's not my primary business, but I invested in the company 17 years ago, as part of my concern to promote a more environmental alternative to fossil fuels. The company was floundering, and I developed a new sales and marketing strategies that proved sufficiently successful to expand the business. My main business is Merchant (investment) banking. My knowledge of the auto-industry comes from when I started, the only quick way to enter the finance industry, was fleet auto-finance, and financing the then relatively new recreational vehicle market. I'm also an early Tesla shareholder, and admirer of both Elon Musk, and the indomitable Carlos Ghosn. It's possible to be an environmentalist, EV advocate, and not be close minded about every issue ! Elon Musk sees the world from the point of view of a person who is comfortable with the virtual reality of the internet, instead of local communities. He argues, as do many of his generation, the virtues of efficiency, direct marketing, globalisation, and an interconnected world of impersonal multi-national corporations, without checks and balances. He maybe right ! That may be the way of the future. I have my doubts about how such a vision works in practise. Yesterday, my Sony TV developed a malfunction. I was amazed to discover that in Australia, Sony has no advertised telephone number for service complaints. Eventually, I found a number only to discover I was taking to a call centre in India ! After much frustration, I saw the boss of Sony Australia, (who actually lives in my street) , and annoyed him. (suddenly, I got service). This is my concern, what happens to the community when a an arbitrary decision can be made about a town/suburbs economic and cultural future, by a corporate executive who may live thousands of miles away, or even in a different country. The local auto-franchised dealer is an integral part of the local community. He's judged by the community, not only for the conduct of his business, but for his community involvement and investment. That's worth considering, because when it's gone, it's gone.
          purrpullberra
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Sounds like you sell cars for a living dude. Did I miss something? Major shareholder in a company that sells EV's = CAR SALESMAN Marco Polo's views = CAR SALESMAN Explain how you are denying this again?
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ DaveD/EV Jack, It's evident you dislike dealers, and that hatred gives you a bias. However, I do understand the argument to allow manufacturers to sell vehicles directly to the public. I can understand the logic of thinking that dealing with the manufacturer directly, possibly even via the internet, would reduce the price. But has this method made Apple cheaper ? Once the dealers are gone, the would be no way to compare the price of Tesla. As I said to Domenick, would you be fighting so hard to buy directly from GM ? As I have written in other posts, there are always two sides to every debate. The dealers want to maintain the business model that exists, Tesla wants to pursue a different retail model. But, I don't agree with your assertion that it's always socially desirable and economically beneficial to eliminate local business in favour of giant corporations. Nor do dealers "give back your money" as a charity. A family owned and operated local dealer may employ as many as 100 people locally. Those people eat lunch, get their clothes dry-cleaned, send their kids to school and patronise all the local small businesses. That's the local economy ! They all pay taxes, and ultimately pay for whatever you do for a living. Those are the only jobs that can't be sent offshore, or to another state. I dislike giant shopping malls, with their huge parking lots, which is why in my community, I have actively pursued and supported zoning restrictions, protecting 'strip' shopping zones. I can understand people who are delighted at buying from the internet, and avoid paying retail sales taxes. They justify this by saying they're not being ''ripped off'', but that just means local business has to pay a greater burden, and becomes even less competitive. Sooner or later, that leads to a decline in local employment, and a decrease in the social environment. Tesla doesn't build the sort of products we do, so there's conflict of interest. We build and sell/service specialised electric vehicles. Most EV fans don't realise that there has always been a considerable market for electric vehicles including, fork lifts, tugs, security patrol vehicles (ironically in oil installations) resort hire vehicles (especially for small island nations) small buses, people movers, large golf course mowers, local delivery vehicles. That's not even including 2 wheel applications, for tourist hire. (No risk of exhaust burns, nor license). As my friend Ross Blade discovered, when he attempted to build and production build a production EV (Blade Electron) in Australia, (three years before Tesla), the difficulties are just to great.
          Julius
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Dave D: "That's OUR MONEY they're "giving back to us". We spent that money that could have stayed in our pockets on some middle man who now "generously" gives us back a few pennies on the dollar and we're supposed to kiss their A$$ for the privilege? Stop siphoning so much money out of the local economy to line your pockets and we can fund our own little league teams. Thanks, but rich people who gouge the rest of us and then "give back to the community" some small portion to assuage their conscious? No thanks." The issue here is manifold. First, the presumption that all of a dealer's money comes from middle-man retail sales, which it does not. About half comes from the same service work that the local "Goodyear shop" does as well - something Musk feels is also "bad": he's on-record as saying dealers shouldn't generate profits from service. Second, the only way direct sales are cheaper - by definition - is if there's fewer people involved. People are the most expensive part of any manufacturing/retail operation. So the issue of local jobs remains - with direct sales, the people who would arguably remain are the sales force and (blue-collar) technicians for the service department. Much of the local dealer's management - including local accounting for payroll, benefits, etc. as well as the individual owners - would be cut out, and those are the local white-collar jobs to be lost. And somehow, I doubt that there would be a 1:1 increase in these jobs in California. I mean, any merger touting efficiencies (and this would resemble a merger between dealer and manufacturer) inevitably comes with job reductions. So yes, direct sales can be cheaper. But in a world where consolidation into ever larger companies is a given, the downward pressure on wages at the local level is also real.
          Dave D
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          I disagree with a number of your points. "It's possible to be an environmentalist, EV advocate, and not be close minded about every issue ! " You keep asserting that anyone who doesn't like dealers is somehow "close minded". I contend just the opposite: You're close minded because you insist we should all have to abide by laws that lock us into dealers. I say let the dealers compete. If their services are as valuable as you say, then they'll be around, just in a different guise focusing even more on service. If they don't survive...then they were not needed in the first place. I've also heard you, and others, speculate that the local dealership is such an important part of the community because they provide local jobs. If those jobs are truly needed, then they'll still be there. I'm not driving my Tesla to California to service it so SOMEBODY will be local to service it. Maybe Tesla will make deals to train and use "Goodyear dealers" or brake and muffler places (they'll be looking for ways to supplement their business if electrics take off. I don't care if that job is at a car dealership or some other shop that may be more efficient. If those jobs are NOT needed to service cars...then they have to go away. I'm not sponsoring job welfare to support jobs that are no longer needed. I've also seen assertions that "dealerships give so much back to the community through sponsoring things". That's OUR MONEY they're "giving back to us". We spent that money that could have stayed in our pockets on some middle man who now "generously" gives us back a few pennies on the dollar and we're supposed to kiss their A$$ for the privilege? Stop siphoning so much money out of the local economy to line your pockets and we can fund our own little league teams. Thanks, but rich people who gouge the rest of us and then "give back to the community" some small portion to assuage their conscious? No thanks. "what happens to the community when a an arbitrary decision can be made about a town/suburbs economic and cultural future, by a corporate executive who may live thousands of miles away" That is a strange view of things. So you think it's ok for a few people to use political clout to force all of them to pay them as middleman and they're somehow hero's to the community while a guy who live in California wants to sell us goods at a lower overall cost and somehow he's the bad guy? Again, I call that free market. Last, I still think you have a vested interest here. You are in a business "which builds, modifies, converts, rents and sells specialist EV's." Is it good for you business interest if Tesla floods the market with very desirable high end EVs and they are working down the food chain to supply mid tier buyers next? I don't know and I won't pretend to. Perhaps you build electric dune buggies for the beach? Perhaps you only restore 60's classics with electric drives? You have to answer that question but there is potential there.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          His dislike for dealers would only be bias, if existed before and independently of the reasons he gives. But his dislike for dealers (and most peoples dislike) is BECAUSE of the things they do. Things like this. Things like lying to potential customers. Things like 'pretending to be on the side of consumers' when they are only out for themselves. Your "love" for dealers, and your personal associations might just as equally be seen as "bias". ---------------------- Frankly, bias or no... dealer's associations are behaving in ways familiar to how individual car salesmen behave. Like shady liars who would say anything to make their profit.
          Dave D
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Julius, I think that's a false equivalency. Direct sales does not equal merger and you're trying to blame the damage to a consumer that mergers cause on direct sales??? In what possible way is that true. I never claimed a 1:1 job in California. I said that if the jobs were not needed....then they're not needed and should go away. In your world, Apple should not own stores nor sale online. Dell should not exist. Amazon.com should not exist. Hell, WalMart shouldn't exist because think of all the small, local businesses and their white collar workforce that went away. Actually, my family lost a fortune because of Walmart: grocery stores and hardware stores and even textile plants we used to own because all of this was globalized. Do I wish I was sitting around on my yacht with nothing to do but figure out which bimbo I was going to take out on the lake today? Yeah, sometimes. But I had to find other things to do. I'm an exec in tech companies now. Most of my cousins in this generation are lawyers or engineers. Life goes on. Telling people they couldn't have cheaper goods from Walmart so I could spend my days on the lake might have been fun for me...but that doesn't mean it would have been better for the rest of the community. That's called free market. You can try to explain it away any way you want. The bottom line is they will be efficient and cheap, or Goodyear et al will be doing their jobs for them in 10-15 years.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          --"he's on-record as saying dealers shouldn't generate profits from service." No, he said that Tesla should not follow that model. That consumers will enjoy the experience better if maintenance was not a profit center. He made no assertions that other automakers should change.
          Electron
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          You're also a reputable liar with a reputation of making all sorts of colourful claims about himself to boost his credibility in what appears to be an ongoing effort of opinion shaping on behalf of assorted (oil) interests. Really "marcopolo", I think most people will quickly realize that the guy you claim to be would have other priorities in life than spending tremendous amounts of time advocating the views of rich and powerful of this planet on green car blogs, so don't even bother. I think the votings on your comments supporting the legal war on Tesla speaks volumes, people are just not buying into your lies and manipulations.
          Dave D
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco, If you boil your argument down to the basics: You believe it's better for the local economy to keep jobs even if that is not the most efficient model. There is some merit to that line of thinking, but I believe it's doomed to failure. Most people are not willing to do with less (less function, less things they can have, less things they can do) or to pay more for those same services. Walmart exist for a reason and you're only delaying the inevitable. I must admit, I refuse to shop at Walmart personally for this very reason. It's rather childish, but that is MY choice. My father's brother lost everything trying to keep his stores in the strip mall across the street from the new Walmart that came to town. I swear to God, just when he was going to lose everything, a tornado came through and wiped the place out. He was saved, he could take the insurance money and go do something else and live happily ever after. Nope. He didn't want half his employees to end up as blue collar workers at Walmart getting screwed over and the other half unemployed. So he rebuilt instead. It took all of 6 months for him to go bankrupt because Walmart sure didn't go away and they could still beat any price he could come up with. Now half his employees work at Walmart and the other half just do something else for a living or have no job. Sucks huh. It's noble to want to protect the local workers, but if the jobs are not cost effective or more efficient, they'll eventually go away. Zoning restrictions may work for a while and in some cases. But it's not going to protect less efficient jobs forever. Again, I say that not shopping at Walmart is MY CHOICE...but it's still a choice. I can't tell everyone else they have to shop at the locally owned stores. Your support of the Dealers associations in each of these cases is about forcing others to go through dealers. You are perfectly welcome to do so. But you can't tell me I have to. I've thought a lot about this. I don't want to live in a service economy where all we do locally is cut each other's hair, do each other's yard work or cook each other's food. Nothing wrong with those jobs, but they can't be the only thing available. But we'll simply have to figure out what other jobs are out there and need doing and move on. Because 100 years ago, I couldn't stop you from buying cars because my horse and buggy business would die. I would be willing to bet ANY money that horse farms tried to block road paving or other projects that made it easier for cars to proliferate. They may have even succeeded in some places for a while. You're trying to stop the world from turning and it's not going to cooperate. It's a harsh, cruel world. If they can't justify their existence, they won't exist.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Dealers are Middlemen. They do not actually produce a product that competes. They loosely compete among themselves, so it SEEMS like you are getting a "deal"... but you are just paying the lowest MARKUP. But there is always a markup. Direct sales will certainly be cheaper than this model. It has very little to do with the 'number of people' involved, because the 'number' makes no difference if they are not 'competing'. There is a huge difference between a sales force that is owned and operated by the manufacturer... only wages and expenses need be accounted for.... but a dealership middleman, must make a profit all their own. They are an entirely separate entity which will try to maximize their own profit... way before the profit of the manufacturer.
          purrpullberra
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Plus now I want to force you to sell your cars through a completely independent dealership network. What do you think of that?
        Jim1961
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        I accidenally down voted your comment.
          Dave D
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jim1961
          LOL No worries, it's so easy to do on this system.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://www.wired.com/business/2014/03/car-dealers-fear-teslas-plan-end-oil-changes-forever/
        bluepongo1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @bluepongo1
        These ABG threads do reek of dealer fear and desperation. " The perfect storm" of parasites, the intrusive govermedia, obstructionist dealers, and GM's deadly ignition problem.
          bluepongo1
          • 6 Months Ago
          @bluepongo1
          O_o ..........Look at this Tesla folks >===> http://s.tt/20k2a
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dominick Yoney has abandoned all pretence at being objective as a journalist. This article is simply an undisguised call to support the marketing objectives of one corporation. This has nothing to do with the advancement or adoption of EV's or green technology, but simply a fight by Elon Musk to institute a retail business model, which he believes would advantage his corporation. Dominick Yoney, crosses a line when, as a journalist, he becomes an advocate for just one manufacturer, and wraps it in the guise of industry advancement. Nissan, and all other EV makers, manage to comply with the various state regulations. An internet '"petition to the Whitehouse" ? Are you serious ? Apart from the fact that in a nation of 313 million citizens, 100,000 or even 1,000,000 internet respondents is of little concern. (most aren't real, or don't vote) , the federal government has little, or no authority to overturn state legislation. The NJDA, can muster 10 times that number of real voters, don't their opinions count ? Since when did the grass roots local voter become a non-citizen in his own state ? Why does Dominick feel that the interests of a Californian billionaire, with a horde of internet followers, outweigh the interests of local citizens? As Eese2 points out, ABG seems to be censoring all comments unfavourable to Tesla's commercial objectives, which seems to be very counter-productive to retaining journalistic creditability. But most of all Domenink, I would like you to explain why you believe that legislators and Governor of NJ, are corrupt for listening to the voters of NJ, and the NJADA which is a local well supported business organisation, instead of a small minority ? . In the last NJ election, just over two million voted (only 38% voter turnout) , Governor Christie won over 60% of the votes cast. The NJADA can assemble a support base of over 300,000 thousand voters in 11 of the 15 electoral districts. (These folk actually vote !) Shouldn't their voices be heard ?
        Levine Levine
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Sales and promotion of EV are important components of environmental protection; it is an essential topic within the "Green" section of Autoblog.com. The Tesla Model S is the single most significant EV produced in USA in the history of the automobile. When some EV experts consider the Model S a 'game changer' in the auto industry, they also meant a disruption in the ordinary course of selling EVs. As a journalist who understands the business of and appreciate the environmental impact of EVs, especially the Tesla Model S, Domenick Yoney exposed the special treatments through special laws paid for and received by NADA affiliates. Critics of Yoney's expose' are either shills of NADA or have vested interest in preserving the entrenched fraud perpetrated by the NADA masqueraded as 'consumer protection.' While the Sojourn of Asia attacks Yoney's expose' as off-topic and irrelevant to Green Autoblog, he himself has no qualm writing a verbose political science essay on NJ voters, NJ voter turn-outs, NJ political constituency, and the sanctity of NJ legislators and Governor. Instead of addressing the pro and con of laws advocated by NADA and its affiliates and their impact on sales of the Model S, the Sojourn of Asia expediently elects to discuss NJ politic by pretending to be an expert of NJ politic. His specious argument is similar to NADA which claims to be experts ' protecting consumer rights' by pretending to be consumer advocates. Readers of Green Autoblog have heard many voices on this subject. But no voice is as irritating or disrespectful as the one from the Sojourn of Asia.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Haha.... they listened to the voters? You do understand that, unusually.. there was a comment period 'after' the rule was placed down, not before? You do understand that here in America, that isn't the usual process? i mean.. literally, 0 democracy going on there. Nobody voted on it. Just cash from dealers lining politicians' pockets. I guess you could consider that cash a vote, but i consider it bribery.
          nitrostreet
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Cash is a vote since the Businessman's United; I mean Citizens United ruling...
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          "The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which includes members of Christie’s cabinet, unanimously approved the proposal yesterday in Trenton, delaying public comment on the matter until after the hearing. "
          2 wheeled menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Yup.
        Domenick
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        @Marco Polo -continued- (apparently there is limit on the length of comments) I just wanted to further add that we do not censor comments here, unless they contain objectionable content. The commenting system can, possibly, not function properly at times, leading some to conclude that they are actively being censored when their comment doesn't appear. I can assure you, that is not the case. There will eventually be an improved system – one that will hopefully include an edit function – which should be more robust and prevent those kinds of problems, though I must say, malfunctions of that sort are already a very rare occurrence. We are interested in the diverse views of our readers as they pertain to transportation, the environment, and even the thread of politics that tends to run through them. (UFOs and aliens, not so much.) Again, thanks for your comment and I hope I've addressed your issue sufficiently.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Domenick
          Was following everything you said with great interest.. then you said, "edit function" and now I forgot everything else you wrote. *reading it from the top again* :) thank you.
        Weapon
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        How about trying a more neutral poll that doesn't ask any single question but have people rate multiple professions: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx Car salesman have an approval rating of 9%. That in itself speaks volume that people do not like car dealers and do now want them.
        sebringc5
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Excellent summary of this "reporting".
        DarylMc
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Hi MarcoPolo That opinion sets you aside from just about everyone else here. I can't at all agree with your opinion that a small percentage of the people who did actually vote should override the wishes of the masses and I think if the masses were asked they would overwhelmingly support Tesla's plans to sell their vehicle as they choose. In Tesla's case I can't really see it as a problem to do direct sales. I can see if the whole business model was to change how that might affect other existing franchises. If importer XYZ could direct sell say a Chinese import vehicle and not offer support to customers I think that would be a loss for consumers, existing dealers, local communities and society in general. Good governments should consider these things. I see it as a bit like if the majority of workers at Tesla wanted a unionised workplace. I think they would have a right to do so. But it is an entirely different matter if the governments laws forced them to operate that way.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          @ DarylMc " that a small percentage of the people who did actually vote should override the wishes of the masses". That's democracy ! To have your say, you need to fulfil the most basic responsibility as a citizen, turn up, and vote ! Tesla as such, is not the issue ( nor are electric cars) . The issue for the dealers is that what's permissible for Tesla, must be permissible for all auto-manufacturers.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          All other automakers, at some point in their history, signed franchise agreements. Tesla has never. So it is nonsense to be so absolute, as to say, "what's permissible for Tesla, must be permissible for all auto-manufacturers". The issue at hand is that some states' laws were written way to vaguely, zealously, and assumed that every automaker in the future would also sign franchise agreements.
          DarylMc
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          Hi Marco Polo A lot of governments today have a small balance of power. I do hope they are considering the interests of the bulk of their citizens as well as the ones who voted for them. I don't think many people want to see Tesla blocked from selling their cars as they choose. The opportunity to cut costs and provide a better customer service than the existing models seems likely to me. The problem that arises then is that if other car companies expect the same opportunities. That would be a serious matter for existing dealers so I think I can see where you are coming from.
        Domenick
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        @Marco Polo Thanks for taking the time to comment . I apologize if the piece seems to lack objectivity to you. However, if you read it carefully, you may note that it is not intended as an opinion piece, but rather one intended to reflect events as they occurred. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission made a rule change which blocked Tesla's ability to operate its stores as it has been doing. Elon Musk, upset with the decision and how the change was made, wrote a letter expressing his views. That is the main subject of the post. Meanwhile, the decision to block Tesla in New Jersey has angered a lot of people – Tesla owners and fans, as well as many of the public at large who see the move as indicative of the pay-to-play politics that is all too common in NJ and other states. Some of these people signed a White House petition. Others have written comments adjoining articles reporting on the rule change, including those found at NJ.com. If you read those comments, as I did, you'll find opinion heavily against the Commission's decision and a widespread attitude that it was the result of corruption. This post conveys that information. If there was a loud hue and cry from supporters of the Commission's decision, I would hope I'd have mentioned it in the piece. As for your concern about the lack of mention of other manufacturers, the article does not include them because none are known to be directly involved with Elon Musk writing a letter to the people of New Jersey or signing a White House petition, or even writing comments beneath reports discussing the Commission's actions. Other manufacturers have not officially responded to the decision, so it's not possible to include their positions on the matter in this piece. As for the New Jersey Automobile Association (which actually uses the acronym NJ CAR, not NJADA), their position on the issues is well known – against not being included in Tesla's sales network . They do have have some support, but it is a fraction of those who support Tesla position and/or perceive the commission's action are being influenced by politicians who have received generous contributions from that organization. NJ CAR may well be able to "muster 10 times that number of real voters", but they are not a political party and don't, themselves, run for office and so, no one votes for them. Also, it would be a mistake to imply any sort of a connection with Governor Christie's most recent election win with popular support for NJCAR. The lobby group is only one of many political contributors and it would be a huge stretch to say that the organization was even in the backs of minds of voters as they cast their ballots. Now, I understand that you feel that Tesla should just lay down on this issue and use independent dealers for its sales network in New Jersey, which would then force it to do the same in every other state. That's fine. You are welcome to your opinion and more than welcome to express it here at AutoblogGreen.
          Domenick
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Domenick
          @Marco Polo Thanks for the response. 1) I did not "urge" anyone to sign the petition. I provided a link for those "who are so inclined". Were I to urge people to sign a petition, I would say something like, "Please, go sign the petition here." There is a difference. 2) I didn't include a statement from NJ CAR because it wasn't directly the target of Musk's letter. Yes, I would have been nice to include it here, but I was trying to limit the scope of the post. I'm pretty sure the readers are aware of the position of the dealer's lobby in this case. 3) If I may quote you, "To comply with the regulations, all Tesla has to do is grant a qualified person, a franchise, and start selling cars in NJ, as a franchised dealer." Putting aside the fact that Tesla was in compliance and the rules were then changed, it sounded to me like you believe they should just change their entire approach to selling cars, just so they can sell in NJ. Remember, if they use independent dealers in New Jersey, they have to do the same in every other state. Automakers in the US who use the independent retailer model can not have company stores. 3) I believe the two models can not only co-exist, but that having the new model will improve the previously existing one. In addition, this has nothing to do with GM or any of the established automakers following suit. Not only are they legally shackled to the independent dealership paradigm, they prefer it. I have an opinion piece outlining this argument coming soon. 4) I hate that song. Nice sentiment and what have you, but I still hate it.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Domenick
          "The auto-retailers are basically small(ish) local businesspeople, in a fight to protect not just their livelihoods, but their communities, from the deprecations of giant corporations, globalisation etc" Um... no they are NOT. They buy up other dealerships nearby and create their own localized monopoly. Many towns and cities here in America have seen big signs with the last name of the owner, plastered on bigger signs than the automakers. Maybe Australia is different, I didn't spend too much time looking at billboards there. If these "local business people" want to "fight against.. the deprecations of giant corporations, globalisation etc"... they should try and actually BUILD A PRODUCT... instead of reselling the product. You've got some serious hero worship going if you think dealerships are protecting citizens from global industry like automakers. They buy up the automakers product, only to resell them to consumers at a profit. They are MIDDLEMEN, not producers! If they really wanted to bring choice to the American consumers, they would "compete" by producing competing products. Like Tesla is doing, building an actual line of automobiles. So dealers are doing the exact opposite... and fighting the one company which actually competes with the large automakers.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Domenick
          @ Domenick In turn, I must thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment, I greatly appreciate the courtesy. However, after careful reading,(both your article and reply) , it's evident that you have chosen a position, and moved from objective reporting, to advocacy, (or opinion). A more balanced report would not urge readers to sign a petition, and might have included a right of reply from Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Auto-mobile Retailers. I do not believe that Tesla should "just lay down on this issue and use independent dealers", that's is entirely up to Tesla, and like any organisation in a free society, Tesla is (and should) be free to campaign and change the law through the legislative process. I see this issue in a wider context. The auto-retailers are basically small(ish) local businesspeople, in a fight to protect not just their livelihoods, but their communities, from the deprecations of giant corporations, globalisation etc. Ask yourself this question, if it wasn't Tesla Motors campaigning for this change, but General Motors, would it receive the same level of support ? That's the real issue that concerns local voters. When it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter what Tesla supporters say on the internet, or in the LA times, the voters (those who do vote) in NJ are all that counts. NJCAR, may not be a 'political party' but many of it's members make up the grass roots political organisations for both major parties. These are the people who select the candidates. But, that's just my opinion. In the words of Joni Mitchell ; 'Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot'
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        "The NJDA, can muster 10 times that number of real voters, don't their opinions count?" Let them muster. Don't just count them in. So far you have counted everyone who has ever worked at a dealership, their family, friends, and pets. Let them actually speak up... or are you afraid that every poll will show overwhelming support for Tesla? Oh wait, every poll already has. --"Consumers across the country have also voiced their opinion on the sales model they prefer. In North Carolina, a Triangle Business Journal poll found that 97 percent of people polled said Tesla should be allowed to sell cars directly. A poll by the Austin Business Journal showed that 86 percent of respondents were in favor of direct sales, and in a Los Angeles Times poll 99 percent of respondents came to the same conclusion. These aren’t polls that we commissioned and there are many more like them. We have not seen a single poll that didn’t result in an overwhelming majority saying they preferred the direct model to the traditional dealer model. "
          Weapon
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Marco Polo - Tesla is not going to sell through a franchised dealer one way or the other. I am sure most people would prefer to be a Tesla dealer working for Tesla selling their cars rather then a franchise for Tesla. So all the franchise dealers are doing with these laws is killing local jobs.
          EV Jack
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          As usual, Marco is being a complete, lying tool. Do you really expect us to believe that an election that happened two years ago and involves so many different issues is a referendum on whether or not John Q Public is supporting Christie's EV policies today? That's such a stupid statement that I can't believe you're not embarrassed to even write it. Do you realize that people judge you not only for which side of an argument you take, but for the intelligence (or lack thereof) you add to the debate? You have just shown yourself to be a complete joke. You would be better served to admit you have an agenda rather than appearing so foolish. Now we can't take you seriously on other issues.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe I know New Jersey quite well from my many visits, and the friends I have made in to the state. My family even once owned land in NJ in colonial times. My younger son married a student at Princeton University and moved to Essex Fells to be closer to her family as she is expecting their first child. This involves a daily twenty minute drive to Millburn and the train to Manhattan, or staying at his apartment in Manhattan, and travelling back on the weekends. Local businesses, where the owner is a member of the local community, has a very different relationship with his employees and community, than the employees of a multi-national corporation with no local ties. An example would be the staff of the local family owned Gentilli Ford dealership in Woodbine NJ. Check out the local community involvement since 1955. That's a big number of people who over the years have had some form of positive connection with the dealership on community level. It's this connection with local politics, that gives dealers the political edge, not cash ( Tesla is a lot richer). I'm sure Tesla, like Nissan, could sell just as successfully through a system of franchised dealer where required. In fact it would provide considerable local employment for ardent Tesla fans and enthusiasts, who would enjoy a career as a Tesla dealer.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          And like I said... you are assuming votes based on loose affiliation of employees and family/friends of employees. That same BS is used to justify, "Corporations are People, my friend"... just because they "employ" people. Does every person who worked for Walmart vote and have the same values as Walmart's senior executives? THAT is is the BS of counting an industry's political "speech" as equal with their labor force. You can do all the 'back of the napkin democracy' you would like, but that is even worse than polling.
          Marco Polo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe The poll that counts, is on election day. Internet polls are unreliable on issues like this, since they only reflect the superficial opinions of a targeted group. It also depends on the question you ask. Most Franchised New Car dealers are very involved in the local community. They work hard to support other local business. They belong to the local chamber of commerce, are active in community groups like Rotary, Apex, etc. Support local media, church organisations, sponsor sporting associations, serve as civic leaders etc. Ask the local voter who they want to see prosper, a dealer who has served on the local school board, is a church elder, ex-serviceman, President of Rotary, sponsors the local football/basket ball team, former Mayor and popular civic councillor, or a Californian Billionaire, ...and see what sort of response you get ! But the political maths isn't hard to work out. New Jersey is a state of 8,899,339, only 2.2 million of whom bother to vote. The demographic of those who do vote show them to live in smaller communities, or suburbs and be older middle class citizens. The NJADA (only new vehicle dealers) has over 700 members and affiliates. Each of those dealers, employs directly, or indirectly , 3-400 local citizens. That's 280,000 potential supporters. True, not all those can be counted as supporters, but 50% would be fairly accurate. In addition those community organisations supported by the dealers, including scholarship programs, would provide another 2-300,000 voters, without counting the popularity of the personal following of individual local dealers. Counting the 40% of any electorate that can always be relied upon to maintain the status quo, and that gives the NJADA nearly 60% support. The demographics reveal that the NJADA can muster enough support to elect 34 out of 40 senators, and 63 of the 80 members of the assembly . Ranged against that sort of tight knit, disciplined local campaigning, an internet poll in the LA times is pretty meaningless ! Voters in NJ who do favour Tesla's business model, are likely to be young, urban or with no deep ties to the local community. Mostly they fall into the 60% of New Jersey electors who don't vote ('cept on internet polls! ). That's just the way grass roots representative government works. At a local level, people vote for local candidates. Polls that ask the wrong questions, of the wrong people, will always prove misleading.
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I lived in New Jersey for nearly 8 years... no, you don't know Jersey's demographic at all. Politically, this is not likely to matter at all on election day. Not because people don't care about what Tesla is trying to do... but because incumbents usually keep their position. Christie will have much more to answer to, even without bridges and Tesla. So when is the last time you were in New Jersey? Ever?
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      HAHA.... WOW. Domenick.. you are certainly being illiterate today. That is how many signatures remaining to get a response from the White House.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        This article seems to be written in an "overzealous" manner. Just like some state laws were written when every automaker had franchisees, and was thought that every automaker in the future would too.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe For a more balanced article, try Hybrid Cars website, http://www.hybridcars.com/new-jersey-auto-dealer-association-president-challenges-teslas-allegations/
        Domenick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        Wow. I can't believe I did that. Thanks for pointing it out. (Soooo embarrassing.)
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        thanks for correcting within a timely manner... you certainly have that much better than Danny King
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        It is right there in bold letters next to the number. "SIGNATURES NEEDED BY APRIL 10, 2014 TO REACH GOAL OF 100,000"
    • Load More Comments