It's funny how the prospect of a $5-billion investment in a state has the ability to focus minds. Take Texas, for example. The Lone Star State has long had laws prohibiting automakers from selling directly to consumers, even if the manufacturer didn't already sell through franchise dealerships.

Last year, a bill went to the legislature that would have allowed Tesla Motors to sell directly to its customers, but despite entreaties and a visit from CEO Elon Musk, lawmakers didn't pass it. Sure, Texans can still buy the a Model S, but the process is a bit cumbersome. With the prospect of an expensive battery gigafactory and the jobs it would bring, however, Texas Governor Rick Perry taken to the airwaves cable news outlet Fox Business to make his supportive position known.

To be fair, the one-time Republican Presidential hopeful has been in favor of Tesla's sales model for some time. The difference now is he is being proactively vocal about it. Appearing on Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo, Perry spent close to eight minutes pitching a new approach to dealership laws in his state, at one point referring to the traditional dealer model as "antiquated" and encouraging legislators to have an "open and thoughtful" conversation and decide whether or not they want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.

If you think that he has become warm and fuzzy about environmental issues, Perry reminds us after a brief discussion on 2014 and 2016 elections – yes, he may run again – that he has no qualms about continuing to rely on fossil fuels, stating that he thinks the most important thing the federal government can do to impact the economy right now is to "say yes" to the Keystone XL pipeline. You can view the segment in its entirety be simply scrolling below.



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
  • 69 Comments
      Rick C.
      • 2 Days Ago
      That one went over your head, didn't it? The governor was bribed, er, lobbied ($$). Really, think critically.
      Grendal
      • 9 Months Ago
      So here we see a politician bending to the money just as happened in New Jersey. Here the special interest is actually Tesla themselves. As I've commented many times, fighting a war with Tesla is losing battle for Dealerships/Dealership Associations. Ultimately the public wants to buy what they want and having legislation making that makes the buying process difficult will not be accepted by the public. That will influence politicians. Politicians cannot be seen going against the will of the public when they are in front of the camera. Behind closed doors they can get away with it, but not under the spotlight. This is the perfect example of this. Perry, in the public eye, is seen to side with what the public wants, or at least consider it.
        Grendal
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        *making that difficult makes* One of these days we'll be able to edit our posts. The smart move for the dealerships is to make a compromise with Tesla allowing them to do their thing while protecting their own interests. We'll see if they do the smart thing before this blows up in their face.
      mopar
      • 9 Months Ago
      Forcing dealers comes from a bygone era when the BIG 3 , GM ,Ford, and Chrysler controlled over 80% of USA car sales. It needs to change, to the contrary, Exxon and Mobil should have never been allowed to merge, antitrust should have come in to play there.
      lightnessandjoy
      • 9 Months Ago
      Eight minutes of Rick Perry? LOL.
      BipDBo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Wow, there's a lot of liberal commenters on here that just can't stand the idea of a republican agreeing with them about something. Can't you just see this as good news? It's no wonder we are becoming so divided.
        UnhappyCracker
        • 2 Days Ago
        @BipDBo
        Really! The lobbies of NADA and Texas auto dealers have given tons of money, but Tesla's deal is sweeter. It's just that simple. Same thing is going to happen in Blue states as well. Don't think Michigan won't get push back from GM , Chrysler and Ford.
          BipDBo
          • 2 Days Ago
          @UnhappyCracker
          Perry has been on board with allowing Tesla sales model for a while, long before the giga-factory, but the legislators were not on board. Until the possibility of the Giga-factory came around, he simply had bigger fish to fry. Believe it or not, EV dealerships are usually not the most urgent issue a governor has to deal with. Now that there's the possibility of brining in more jobs, it's become a more urgent issue, worth campaigning about, and to get the legislators on board with. If you want to be mad at somebody, be mad at the Texas legislators, but don't forget, that you're asking them to change a long established law, which always has resistance and takes time. Best to get you undies out of a wad.
      LewTag
      • 9 Months Ago
      What is good for Texas is good for Rick Perry....for the rest of us not so much...
      lasertekk
      • 9 Months Ago
      Money. Money. Oh, it's about the money. Are we done here?
        BipDBo
        • 2 Days Ago
        @lasertekk
        Money creates jobs, runs economies, funds government budgets, etc. It's kind of important to a governor. Der.
      Car Guy
      • 9 Months Ago
      So even when Perry comes out in support of Tesla the idiots out there still bash the guy just because he's a Republican. Stupid haters will hate - even when the guy is on your side.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Car Guy
        Nah.... they bash him for the Hypocrisy of supporting Tesla... when most of his ideology is very anti-environment and pro-fossil fuel.
          UnhappyCracker
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          So you can't be pro-fossil fuel and pro-Ev's at the same time? I thought all options were on the table according to Obama?
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Obama is not the CEO of Tesla Motors. Yes, you CAN be both. But most Republicans are not. They have historically put business ABOVE the environment.
          David Murray
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          You have it wrong. Rick Perry is not anti-environmental. (I know there are some republicans that are) Actually he's pro-business. One of the very reasons Tesla is NOT considering California for their gigafactory. In this case, Tesla is business which means jobs and economic boost. Environmental concerns probably play zero part of the decision neither for nor against.
      Joeviocoe
      • 9 Months Ago
      Type your comment hereLooking at the map of supercharger station rollouts... I am going to place my bet on Arizona. I know, Nevada seems like the favorite due to proximity to Freemont and favorable labor conditions. But there isn't a persistent market for EVs and residential and commercial stationary storage in Nevada like there is for Arizona. Basically, Nevada only has Las Vegas, in the southern tip, which might as well be as far as Phoenix anyway. I think Tesla will want to put their factory nearer to Phoenix, but not so close as to require higher wages. But close enough to garner a secondary market for solar energy storage (that doesn't need to be hundreds of miles into a desert like Nevada).
      Grendal
      • 9 Months Ago
      I really can see the trade off for Tesla if they go with Texas for access to their market. It isn't enough for the Model S to make it worth it but it probably have a huge effect on the Model E. If it makes it that much easier to get an E into the hands of a customer then in a market where you could sell 10K cars a year losing 2K sales to the inconvenience of the Texas system would be a big deal. Though the reality is that the Governor uses his executive powers to get them in to get the plant and two years later it could be legislated away because of the dealerships. There could be no guarantees.
      Ziv
      • 8 Months Ago
      Someone commented earlier on OK overturning a bill that protected people with solar arrays from getting double billed by the utility companies. Well Governor Fallin just destroyed the power companies bill, and did it with Tea Party support. Some of these issues aren't as cut and dried as you would think. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/04/oklahoma_sb_1456_why_the_tea_party_is_fighting_for_solar_power.html
      BipDBo
      • 2 Days Ago
      Yes, people have to gain from the jobs and tax revenue, from politicians who want good approval ratings, to families who will live off of those jobs. True, it's naïve to think that politics (on both sides) is free from shady, back alley motivations. It's idiotic, though, to assume that there is a shady back alley motivation behind every single issue when the primary motivation is right out there in the open.
    • Load More Comments