Amsterdam: Model S @ Tesla Store
  • Amsterdam: Model S @ Tesla Store
  • Amsterdam: Model S @ Tesla Store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Amsterdam: Model S @ Tesla Store
  • Amsterdam: Model S @ Tesla Store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Amsterdam: Tesla Store
  • Amsterdam: Tesla Store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Eindhoven: Tesla Store
  • Eindhoven: Tesla Store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • There is a Tesla store inside this mall...
  • There is a Tesla store inside this mall...
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • DC Tesla Store
  • DC Tesla Store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • New Tesla Motors store
  • New Tesla Motors store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Tesla store
  • Tesla store
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Tesla Tyson's
  • Tesla Tyson's
  • Image Credit: Flickr
  • Tesla
  • A Tesla Model S is shown in the showroom at the Washington Square Mall, Friday, July 20, 2012, in Portland, Ore. Tesla Motors only has 24 stores in the world, and now one of them is at Washington Square Mall in Portland. The company produces electric cars and hopes their product will be a hit with eco-conscious Oregonians. The cars can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds, all without a drop of gasoline. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Tesla
  • The Tesla showroom is shown at the Washington Square Mall, Friday, July 20, 2012, in Portland, Ore. Tesla Motors only has 24 stores in the world, and now one of them is at Washington Square Mall in Portland. The company produces electric cars and hopes their product will be a hit with eco-conscious Oregonians. The cars can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds, all without a drop of gasoline. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
  • Image Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
It looks like Elon Musk has a new group of allies over at the Federal Trade Commission. Writing on the FTC blog, three high-level FTC officials came out against the "protectionist" network of laws in the US that govern automotive dealers and prevent, in some cases, Tesla Motors from selling its cars directly to customers. They called the rules, "bad policy for a number of reasons."

They write:

[The legal] protections expanded until in many states they included outright bans on the sale of new cars by anyone other than a dealer-specifically, an auto manufacturer. Instead of "protecting," these state laws became "protectionist," perpetuating one way of selling cars-the independent car dealer.

The post is not a call to arms, but more of a position statement co-authored by Andy Gavil (director of the Office of Policy Planning), Debbie Feinstein (director of the Bureau of Competition), and Marty Gaynor (director of the Bureau of Economics).

"The collective [cost] impact of [the state-by-state battles] is one of the major concerns here. [Tesla is] just trying to sell their cars" – Andy Gavin

Gavil told AutoblogGreen that the main goal was to bring attention to the issue, which the post has certainly done. There are so many of state fights going on, he said, that this was a way to reach a lot of people at once. "We've been watching this for months," he said. "It's very clearly a state-by-state battle. We are concerned about Tesla litigating state-by-state. The collective [cost] impact of that is one of the major concerns here. They're just trying to sell their cars. The way the industry is reacting shows that it's about more than that."

Gavil wouldn't go so far as to say that there should be new national rules – it's up to Congress to do that, he said - but he has also been looking at the taxi industry and the upstarts like Lyft and Uber. The competition angle sometimes doesn't get the attention it deserves, he said. "If there's a more open debate about it, that can only be a good thing."



One of the groups opposed to Tesla's direct sales is the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which represents 16,000 new car and truck dealerships with about 32,000 domestic and international franchises. Jonathan Collegio, NADA vice president of public affairs, sent a statement to AutoblogGreen:

For consumers buying a new car today, the fierce competition between local dealers in a given market drives down prices both in and across brands – while if a factory owned all of its stores it could set prices and buyers would lose virtually all bargaining power. And buying a car isn't like buying a pair of shoes online. Cars require licensing to operate, insurance and financing to take home, and contain hazardous materials, so states are fully within their rights to protect consumers by standardizing the way cars are sold.

Tesla, unsurprisingly, says the FTC officers are on target. The automaker said in a statement to AutoblogGreen that, "We agree wholeheartedly with the FTC's conclusion that restricting Tesla's direct sales model is 'bad policy.'"

Reuters called what the three FTC officers wrote "unusual," but the FTC press officer we spoke with gave a softer spiel. She expanded on the disclaimer at the bottom of the blog post - which says, " The views expressed are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission or of any individual Commissioner" - and said that the thoughts were just something that was shared on the FTC blog, which is used by all of the staff members. The words and the ideas were not something that was voted on by the commission. Either way, if Musk really wants to take his fight against the dealership model nationwide, he's got some back-up.

For an excellent and short history of dealer laws in the US, listen to this.



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  • 73 Comments
      TruthHertz
      • 11 Months Ago
      Guys, let me start by saying that I don't like dealerships and more than you do, but if you want to buy a new car, there isn't any other option. Even the Telsa stores are DEALERSHIPS. They simply aren't independently owned. If any automaker is allowed to open up their own stores with no restraints, they could sell cars continuously at a "loss" compared to what the independent dealerships can buy them for and then put those dealers out of business. This is in contrast to the millions of dollars it costs to buyout and close franchises like in the GM and Chrysler bailouts. So in effect, that would allow manufacturers a way to kill and close dealerships without actually telling them to close or offering a "severance". The independent dealers just want to make sure that the parent company can't do these things. I don't think they are anti-Telsa. They just don't want a careless judicial ruling to set a precedent that allow parent companies to snuff dealers at will. Who can get inventory cheaper, the factory, or the place that buys from the factory?
        purrpullberra
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You miss a HUGE point: the contracts the dealers have. If NADA and dealerships simply wanted to strengthen their protection FROM THE MANUFACTURER THEY HAVE A CONTRACT WITH instead of freezing out ANY other manufacturers, even ones that have no franchises your statements might possibly be true. But we know that NADA is specifically going after Tesla BY CHANGING legislation to make it illegal to sell. That is the definition of going after Tesla and being anti-Tesla. So your points are lies, again. The real truth hurts huh? P.S. your stupid hypothetical is not making the point you think it is. The idea of dealerships going out of business because they no longer have protection allowing consumers to buy cars cheaper is EXACTLY what we want. If dealers provide a service people really want then they will survive. Otherwise let them all go out of business. They should only earn money by servicing cars.
        Keith Williamson
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        Why would any of this be a problem? Let the market sort it out without government protection of middle-men / lobbyists / campaign donors.
        daewootech
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        OH NO, CARS THAT ARE OVERPRICED WOULD BE SOLD CHEAPER, OH GOD NO!
        Calls it like he see
        • 11 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You're missing a salient point here--dealerships would still be in operation--they would still run repair shops, sell used cars, etc., the manufacturer would simply take over the new car sales portion of the business with regard to consumer pricing. It would be short-sighted for the manufacturer to put a dealership out of business because the manufacturer still needs a place for consumers to see/test drive the cars and take delivery of the one they purchased. The consumer would still need people on the lot to show them the car they are interested in, so it's not like anybody would even lose their jobs. It would certainly take the edge off the buying experience, though, to have a set base price for a particular model, with options and upgrade levels offered at a set price as well. Right now, people tend to view car salesmen as sharks circling the lot, using every trick in the book to get the most money out of the consumer. Give the salespeople a straight salary rather than base + commission, build that into the price the new car is offered to the consumer at, and the buying experience would be a hell of a lot nicer.
      diffrunt
      • 11 Months Ago
      The Senate's main biz is writing protectionist laws , drafted by the lobby army.
      reattadudes
      • 11 Months Ago
      what an absolute and total crock. perhaps one of the franchise law naysayers could name JUST ONE country (just one!) that allows the direct sale of motor vehicles to the public. the answer is: NONE. I've written ad nauseum on the subject here repeatedly, bringing up the disasters of "factory stores" that both GM and Ford attempted back in the 90s. for all those who crawl on their knees over glass shards to the temple of Apple, to pay full retail for all those items that will be obsolete in one year, let me assure you a vehicle is quite different. let's say you buy a new car thru the normal dealer network. if you don't like the service at one dealer, can't you choose another? if you have a warranty issue, isn't there a long "chain of command" if necessary, to handle the problem to your satisfaction? NONE of those things will apply to a Tesla. did any of you see the video of the Tesla lemon here on Autoblog a few weeks back? since you folks have ALL the answers about the car business (even more, of course, than those of us who have spent decades in the business!), then please share what YOU would do if Tesla would not repair your $140,000 car to your satisfaction. would you head to a local dealer? NONE. how about the zone rep that works for the factory? NONE. when you have an egomaniac like Elon Musk, he won't do anything he doesn't feel like doing. so Teslas have this pesky problem of catching fire while charging, or when they have a collision. if this was any other car, the manufacturer would be hounded by owners to investigate the problem posthaste. ...and to Elon Musk...WHAT problem??
        ravenosa
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        "the temple of Apple, to pay full retail for all those items that will be obsolete in one year" EVERY Mac user I know, from commercial editors to sound designers to those running recording studios, seem to use their Macs for more than one year. My Logic machine in my studio is 7 years old. Still runs more tracks and Waves plug-ins than I can throw at it. Your rants about Tesla are just ridiculous. I didn't really bother reading much of it...
        Daniel D
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        You wouldn't be a dealer by any chance. Anyway the world changes and the exclusive rights to sell cars by dealers is very, very out of step. Time the dealers faced the reality.
        Weapon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        To answer your questions. 1) Pretty much every country other than US allows you to sell directly with a dealer. 2) GM and Ford Factory stores mostly failed due to pressure from the dealers. Though the biggest issue was that GM and Ford already had dealerships. Thus restricted what they could and could not do. 3) Buying a car directly will always be cheaper than through a dealer. 4) If you buy a car directly at a manufacturer, you can go to any of their other stores if you don't like service with one of them. You can also use a certified 3rd party body shop. There is no long chain of command, the manager at the local stores decides. 5) You mean that guy who tampered with his Tesla car? The same guy who also sued Volvo lemoning it as well? (he lost the case against volvo). (also even with ALL the options the car is only 130k) 6) If you have a real lemon, you can head to your local Tesla service center or have Tesla come to your house and pick it up. 7) NHTSA did an investigation and found no issues. That said Musk went the extra mile to provide more protection to both issues despite not being required to. So please, stop your BS, you are just making dealers look worse to people then they already are. You keep trying to lie to people and deceive people and use lobbying and unfair laws to keep your mafia going. If you want to stay in business, PROVE IT BY OFFERING BETTER SERVICE! Not lying to us!
        Levine Levine
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        Current auto franchise laws in some states limit GM, Ford, Chrysler and etc. to own one or two dealerships per state and sell vehicles to the public. In such instance, the auto makers have a vertically integrated business and no catastrophic result has ensued.
        Daniel D
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        Its an argument lost. Time you looked at the responses and realized that your view is not consistent with public sentiment. If you are a dealer or part own a dealer. Read the tea leaves and either sell your business while you can or restructure your business to be competitive with direct sales. Or you can argue like so many now gone professions that the world can't live without you, until one day it does. The world is moving on regardless.
        jeff
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        Pick ANY country but the US and you have your answer.... Also it is ONLY illegal in some states so it is legal in parts of the US... That had to be one of the least researched rants I have seen lately...
        HollywoodF1
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        After spending my whole life watching everyone I know, myself included, get screwed by dealer franchises, I am more than freaking ready to try something else. Someone needed to come along to derail your gravy train. Don't try to disguise your legally sanctioned extortion scheme as anything other than what it is. If it does anything to protect the consumer, it is a far greater cost to them, and always a net loss. "Protection" my @$$.
        cgm9999
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        This was easily the dumbest post I'd seen on the internet all day. Congrats!
        Steve K
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        I think you got lost on your way from HuffPost to Autoblog Green. People with the money to buy a Tesla, or any car for that matter, can decide for themselves whether they need the safety net of a dealer middle man, or would prefer to cut the middle man out and save money and buy manufacturer direct. People like you who think you need a nanny gov overseer for everything are the downfall of this nation. Go move to a Communist wonderland and report to us from there.
        mawhalen53
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        How did you spec a Tesla to $140,000? What would I do if Tesla didn't repair my car to my satisfaction? I suspect that I wouldn't buy from them again, and I would tell my friends about my experience, and if they continued to do poorly people would stop buying their cars and they'd be pushed out of business. That's how capitalism is supposed to go. Competition, free market, let the market decide, etc. Isn't that how America claims to work? What do I gain from a dealer model? A car is the second-largest purchase most people make, aside from a house. For gearheads, it's even more critical to get exactly what I desire at a good price. With the dealer network, I get to choose from whatever John R. Dealer configured and put on his lot, in whatever condition with whatever options and miles on the clock. If I'm lucky there's something nearby that matches my configuration, and then I get to sit down and start pulling teeth negotiating with this guy. What service did he provide for me? At this point, precisely zero, except to make a profit off of me. He is a middle man, and he will always take his cut. Zero Model Esses have caught fire while charging. Three have burned after suffering considerable damage that would have crippled any vehicle, and they burned after giving the occupants ample time to pull over, call for help, and watch from a distance. In response, Tesla introduced improvements in hardware (shields) and software design.
        purrpullberra
        • 11 Months Ago
        @reattadudes
        You are full of garbage. EVERY other country in the world allows cars to be sold direct from a manufacturer. Tesla doesn't face this kind of crap anywhere else. China lets Tesla sell direct. ALL of Europe allow Tesla to sell direct. Canada lets Tesla sell direct. All of your dealership issues are made up crap. EVERYONE would rather skip dealerships and the BS they put customers through. They certainly don't deserve protection. What a lying tool you are.
          Weapon
          • 11 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          @reattadudes - Yes, if you go to Germany. Mercedes owns half of the dealerships there. So you buy from Mercedes directly. We know how the franchise business works. And people are bashing you because you have no clue how the direct sale model works and making assumptions without actually doing your research. And while you try to claim that somehow you are better, your first instinct to lie is not putting you in a good light. We are all aware how the franchise system works and why it is in place. Nobody has a problem with the franchise system protecting franchises against franchisors. The problem here is that Tesla WHO HAS NO FRANCHISES, NONE, ZIP, should not be forced by laws created by your friends at NADA forcing them to sell through a 3rd party dealership! That is the beef here! Franchise laws were NEVER intended to force manufacturers into using franchises if they don't want to. In your mcdonalds example, imagine if every restaurant in existence was forced by law to franchise and could not own their own restaurant. You think that is ok? Tesla just wants to own their own dealerships, they don't want a franchise at all. Is that so wrong? To sell your own product? As for Musk statement. He never said dealers are too dumb to sell EVs. He said that since EVs are no/low maintenance, and dealers make most of their profit on services and parts. It would be against their interest to sell EVs over gasoline cars. On top of that it is easier for them to sell gasoline cars as there is less time needed to explain the details. Part of an EV purchase is education, hence why Tesla pays their sales people to educate, not to sell. Even if you option out the car, the cost is 130k, not 139,970$. If he paid that much he may have been: 1) the price after taxes 2) since there is a ban in Arizona, some dealers may have capitalized on it, bought the car and sold it at a premium (There have been some cases of these) And yes, sales in places that are banned are done through California. You have yet to provide 1 reason why Tesla should not be allowed to own their own dealerships. If they have 0 franchises.
          reattadudes
          • 11 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          so Mercedes-Benz sells directly to buyers, without dealers, where, Saturn? how about Toyota? are you even familiar how many types of dealers Toyota has, just in Japan? so Audi sells direct? this must be news for the dealers in Germany, as well as worldwide. have you seen the thousands of dealers there are in China? if GM is selling direct there, then what is the purpose of the dealers? what I find most humorous about the numerous comments trashing me here is the incredible ignorance of the car business, and how the franchise system even works. I used to enjoy having folks like many of the posters here come and spend a week or two at my dealership; every one left with a new respect of what a dealership does. as I said, the level of ignorance is astounding. does your own opinion, reading of a Wikipedia and two blog posts about an illness you may have make you an expert, knowing more than even your own doctor? this is exactly the same thing...all "experts" with no real knowledge. the franchise system affects all franchise businesses, not just vehicles. it was set up WORLDWIDE over eighty years ago, to protect businesses. let's say you are the franchise holder of a McDonalds restaurant. McDonald's decides to open up a corporate store less than a mile away, and sells Big Macs for 99 cents, and puts you out of business. franchise laws protect you from this....and it goes for scores of other businesses, too. are any of you even aware it was common for manufacturers to dump hundreds of thousands of unordered vehicles on dealers back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? franchise laws protected dealers from having to take this unwanted inventory. the whole premise of Musk's argument is bogus and egotistical. dealers are "too stupid" to know how to sell an electric car? it "goes against" selling gasoline powered vehicles? how did these "stupid" dealers (you know, the ones who many times invest $20 million or more to just open one dealership) learn to sell diesels? hybrids? four cylinder engines in the place of previous gas guzzlers? I live in Arizona, and have a business acquaintance who recently purchased a Model S. the sticker price was $139,970, with freight. of course, there was no discount. Arizona does not allow direct sale of Teslas, so imagine my surprise when I saw a California Report of Sale on the rear window. for those not familiar, this is a temporary registration that California dealers affix to the front or rear window, in lieu of a paper plate. California license fees are some of the highest in the nation, and the fees are based on the selling price of the vehicle. the cost of one year's California plates for this particular Tesla were $11,450, and that is PLUS sales tax. when the California plates arrive, he'll have to turn them in for Arizona plates, which are a relative "bargain", at only $2,500.
          purrpullberra
          • 11 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Do you recognize the difference between 1. Being FORCED to use dealerships and BANNED from selling direct and 2. being allowed to sell direct. I didn't claim there were no dealerships. I said that all companies ARE ALLOWED to sell direct IF THEY WANT and through a dealership IF THEY WANT elsewhere in the world. You have made a most basic mistake in all of your ire-raised nastiness, you simply confused yourself, how unexpected! You are the fool to take what I said and make your idiotic claims. You failed basic comprehension and fail as a person, again. Franchises may have some use, in some cases, sometimes. But no one has the right to force Tesla to use a rotten dealership system like the one in place today in the US. It is rotten and everyone knows it except people like you who lie to themselves and the rest of the world. Everything you say about franchises is meaningless because Tesla doesn't want them. Get the eff over it! Now as far as dealers being too stupid to sell an electric car, yes I agree totally with him. And your opinion on that simply doesn't matter, who cares what you think. He knows for a fact that to sell an EV you must explain it's benefits for the consumer. That requires the salesperson to talk about everything wrong with ICE cars. There is no salesperson alive on a dealership lot that is going to be able to sell a Tesla just as well as they sell cars that are ICE. You can't think both cars are good for people. Just because we know dealership pople and car salespeople are liars 100% of the time they will still not be able to pull off the lies that would be required of them to sell both EV's and ICE's. Those are the facts. Ignore them like you usually do. BTW I don't give a eff about your made up friend and the imaginary Tesla, go tell those lies to the other guy!
      purrpullberra
      • 11 Months Ago
      So we finally have independent consumer protection professionals stating that Tesla has been 100% correct in believing they are doing the right thing by selling direct and avoiding the atrocious dealership model of selling cars. I hope this is just the beginning of a full-on assault on these state's unconstitutional curbs to our country's interstate commerce laws. If ? dealerships provide some beneficial service to consumers, fine, then let them compete for customers like every other business does. Can't compete: GO AWAY! If you don't like Tesla's price then DON'T BUY A TESLA. If you don't like anything else about Tesla's business then DON'T BUY ONE. If you have a problem, a REAL problem with your car DON'T HIRE A SLIMEBALL LAWYER that no one believes. And don't tamper with your car in the first place! All these dealership lies are easy to see as lies, only idiots or dealership employees can't, won't or don't see the truth of the matter. If car salespeople go out of business SO BE IT. Good riddance.
      ravenosa
      • 11 Months Ago
      Glad I invested in them ages ago, glad to see they're doing well, but after being stuck in my friend's Model S for an hour drive (each way), I'll never ride in one again. Not. Comfortable. Cars. At. All. Crazy to think how much more plush and cozy even something like a Chrysler 300 is. Center elbow rests and ones that actually have padding on them? Rear cup holders?? Tactile buttons that don't have the drive swerving on the road while he tries to aim his finger at the little virtual button on the screen? What amazing concepts! Definitely has an aerodynamic exterior, and the door panels are nice, but I can't think of much else to say about their cars. I do hope the CUV is better thought out as far as comfort goes, and that cheesy screen GUI needs some serious work...
        jeff
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ravenosa
        The wife and I take 4 hr drive all of the time.... I am 6'-4" 220lb and find it to be VERY comfortable so I ave no idea what you are talking about...
        purrpullberra
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ravenosa
        Fair enough. It's fair to say that Tesla's aren't as ergonomically well thought out as cars from manufacturers who have been doing it for decades. And fwiw they never claimed to want to make the most comfortable car. ModelS's luxury is the spartan nature of the cabin and the high quality materials used along with the screen/tech. None of which matters if your elbow is getting sore and your butt is going to sleep. I hear they are working on a module to add to the back seat for armrests and cups. And the seats will undoubtedly get better in time too.
        jonnybimmer
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ravenosa
        I highly doubt the touch screens will go away. How the general population has become obsessed with smart phones/tablets with touch screens pretty much guarantees that they'll begin to pop up in even more cars. I do agree with your general opinion about the interior though, to me it felt a little lacking. Minimalism design has a time and place, but I'm not sure the interior of a luxury car is the best place for it (unless you're talking about Lotus/Caterham styled minimalism which for a sports cars I'm all for). Plus that screen just looks awkward, like a huge iPad that was installed by an aftermarket shop. Tesla definitely has some room for improvement and for catching up with the likes of Mercedes, at least as far as the interior goes.
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ravenosa
        Well all that is fair... but highly subjective. Apparently 35,000 people disagree enough to have bought the car. Either way, the interior and ergonomic comfort is irrelevant to consumers right to buy direct.
          jeff
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @Jlauth No we just wanted the chance to own the best car ever made....
          jlauth
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I'm sure that over half of those 35,000 were just people who wanted the newest thing on the road so they can be one notch above their neighbors. I'm sure they didnt give a damn about the interior.
      daewootech
      • 11 Months Ago
      Dealerships are repulsive, their sales tactics are hideous, if i could hit "buy it now" and have a car delivered ala amazon style i would rather that, i don't want to deal with your jerks, i don't want the extra warranty, i did all my research, i don't need you when i know more about the car than you do, so get out of the way and let me get my car without you dipping your hand into my pocket for your commission. Thats a main reason ill pay more to shop online sometimes, i don't want to deal with or even look at you, just give me my merchandise.
      lendersmith
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm a big Tesla fan, but this should be left up to the States as the founders of this country intended. The Feds are becoming way too pervasive.
        Joeviocoe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lendersmith
        Somebody's been watching too much Hannity
        NewTexian Brewery
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lendersmith
        The feds, and the states should have no say in the market. Period.
        The Wasp
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lendersmith
        There needs to be a word to describe people who think their state or their county [etc, etc...] are somehow the supreme entity and the only true law of the land. "Statists"? Anyway, fortunately for these people, they are welcome to renounce their US citizenship! They are also welcome to cease voting in federal elections and continue voting in local elections if they think their local government is more pious or just than the federal government.
        Levine Levine
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lendersmith
        Big government at both state and Federal level is responsible for the protectionist policies imposed on America's economy. State and Federal regulators protect their special interest constituents rather than the consumers. Since government regulators have shielded NADA's auto dealership from competition and the forces of free market capitalism for more than 70 years, the American people should have learnt that Big Government protects special interest groups rather that the people and demand the dismantling of Big Government.
        purrpullberra
        • 11 Months Ago
        @lendersmith
        Interstate commerce is CLEARLY EXACTLY an area the feds should intervene in. Who gives a rats ass about what Texans think of dealerships or Tesla? Tesla has the right to sell the way they want to in Texas no matter what. That is what everyone thinks unless they're a paid dealership employee. Where do you work lendersmith? F&I, financing and insurance at a dealership? Enquiring minds want to know....
      VL00
      • 11 Months Ago
      Its clearly an interstate commerce issue that states should have no say in.
        Ryth
        • 11 Months Ago
        @VL00
        Hey, if I can buy a car directly from a car company, why shouldn't I be allowed to? All this does is make us pay more for cars by having a middle man.
        speeddanimal
        • 11 Months Ago
        @VL00
        To be clear, you are more than welcome to walk into any dealer of any kind and pay exactly what is on the window label. Or go ahead and 'Build and Price' something you like, walk into the dealer, and tell them that is what you want and you won't pay a penny less than the MSRP. They will be very happy to help you immediately. Tesla has a hot commodity, and as long as it stays hot they can probably get away with distributing it themselves, noting that it will cost them less, afford them higher profit margins, and give them a competitive advantage over every other manufacturer that has 'played by the rules' for the last 100 years franchise agreements have been in place. Once Tesla hits market saturation (Gasp! Could there be a limit to the number of people that want a $80K electric car?!), they will be begging to have dealers that can negotiate prices with customers that have already moved on to the next hot thing. Thus, I say give them the direct distribution rope they're asking for... and then watch them hang themselves with it.
          jonnybimmer
          • 11 Months Ago
          @speeddanimal
          1. It's been old news that they're in the process of making more than one car, starting with a CUV and then a $30k model. If both of them hit the standards people expect from a Tesla product, then they are pretty much guaranteed to be hot sellers. 2. For most dealerships, the selling point is still negotiable, even with a "Build and Price" MSRP estimate. As mentioned by others, of course salespeople will sell you a car for MSRP, only a fool pays OVER MSRP (except for rare cases where the car is a hot seller, like a BMW 1 M Coupe) Only a few dealers, such as Scion, have strict haggle-free pricing, which is how Tesla also operates and every other retail store operates; you see a price, you pay the price, and that's that. There is no "suggested" retail pricing, it's a set price and that's it. 3. What's so wrong with direct distribution? Why is it a bad thing? There has yet to be a single, valid point made against direct sales. The argument is always been "it will hurt the independent dealers" which it absolutely will not. There are no current dealers that will be affected by the actions of Tesla, period. They will be affected by the sales that are lost to Tesla products, but how Tesla manages its private dealerships is completely irrelevant to the operations of the current independent dealership establishments. 4. Why the native grudge against an American car company? Why is a part of America preventing an American company from selling an American-made product to Americans? And by the "keep-the-gov-out-of-my-business" conservatives too! Honestly at times I become too baffled to be frustrated.
          purrpullberra
          • 11 Months Ago
          @speeddanimal
          That is such an ignorant view on this issue. "Playing by the rules" is absolutely the WORST way to think of these laws, they are old franchise protection laws recklessly applied to a company that has no franchises. Dealerships are not good for customers. Everyone knows that.
          jeff
          • 11 Months Ago
          @speeddanimal
          Why should I have to pay the dealer ANYTHING Extra...??? They offer NOTHING to me as a consumer. MSRP already has profit built in for the dealer. When yo negotiate with the dealer the ONLY thing you negotiate on is the dealer's profit margin. The price is fixed to the dealer from the manufacturer....
          Vincent McAllister
          • 11 Months Ago
          @speeddanimal
          the rules were not set up to insure consumers competitive pricing nor were they set up to protect dealers from manufactuers of other makes. These regulations were set up to protect dealers who pay the manufacturer a franchise fee from the manufacturer setting up a store down the street and undercuting them
          Joeviocoe
          • 11 Months Ago
          @speeddanimal
          MSRP is the retail price that ALREADY has profit margins for the dealer include. That is why many people can buy below MSRP, and the middle man still gets a profit. When Teslas are sold, MSRP is really a misnomer. There is no "suggested" price. There is no difference between factory and "retail". Tesla's prices are MUCH lower than what they would be if they were forced to sell through dealers and provide an MSRP.
      Billy Devine
      • 11 Months Ago
      The dealers fighting Tesla know they won't be able to sell Scotch Guard or Under car rust proofing B/S if the companies themselves sell the cars even as another way for people to buy. Also getting people in 72/80 month loans will be a thing of the past.
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Billy Devine
        Tesla pushes a 72 month loan with their partnered bank
      Bassracerx
      • 11 Months Ago
      you are either for direct sales or you are against it. That means if tesla can sell direct so can hyundai, GM, ford any of them. You cannot make an exception just for tesla just because it's powertrain is electric especially considering the other automakers make electric cars too.
        daewootech
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Bassracerx
        what exception, why not everyone, choices are always better.
        krona2k
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Bassracerx
        It's got nothing to do with it being electric, it's to do with the fact that Tesla doesn't have any dealers so what dealers are the laws protecting?
      Levine Levine
      • 11 Months Ago
      Americans will tell you that USA is the bastion of the free market and capitalism. However, they somehow elected to ignore contrary evidences such as dairy price support, agricultural product subsidies, ethanol subsidies, and other anti-competitive laws. There appears to be a mental disconnect in the thinking of most Americans. Either that or they are afflicted by a disease that create massive denials of the facts. For more than 70 years, NADA is the product of that denial. NADA stands for America's hypocrisy at its pinnacle.
        Neez
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        I don't know much about ethanol subsidies, but i can tell you dairy and other agricultural subsidies are necessary to make food affordable for the general public. I have a friend who's family lost their medium size dairy farm. People were still complaining at the rising price of milk, yet his farm was living on ends meat just trying to stay afloat. They had to sell out to a very large corporate farm, which is the way farming is going these days because it's hard to make any money any more even with subsidies. Over 60% of our food is already imported, without subsidies, that number would go up significantly and farming in the U.S. wouldn't be viable unless you are a huge corporate farm. You know what else comes out of the farm budget, food stamps. Even then, the total farm bill is less than a quarter of 1% of the federal budget, it's very small, but impact the country in a big way, and helps keep food prices lower and more affordable. It's a good value on investment, unlike these green technology funding endeavors that mostly all failed except for tesla. You have to realize, oil prices are going up, by 2050 it may be fairly expensive to ship groceries to the U.S. from asia, brazil, and other parts of the world. Also, by 2050, farmers worldwide will need to produce twice as much food as they do now, which is not easy especially considering 95% of cultivatable land is already being used. You can't grow more land, what we have is it. Food price will start to skyrocket in the next 50 years. So yes, we need to protect our farming industry in the U.S. For some reason it's ok to use the farm bill for food stamps to feed people that don't work, yet it's not ok to use the farm bill to help subsidize lost crop due to extreme weather for people that work 15 hour days?
          Neez
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Neez
          @lasertekk Yes, but that doesn't mean we should just give up because feeding the entire world in 2050 is futile.... We have to try our best to feed all that we can.
          lasertekk
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Neez
          If that's the case, with a growing world population, food shortages are inevitable.
          Neez
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Neez
          @ NRADOV You're wrong, from http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/06/a_map_of_farmers_in_the_u_s_and_world_.html "Like nearly all countries in South America and North America, the United States is a net importer of food, exporting $1.28 in food for every dollar it imports. " It's a bit more complicated than you suggest. Without a price floor, farmers will be extremely careful what they plant, you will have shortages of certain crops which will have to be heavily imported, driving up their price significantly. Also, overproducing other crops, making them cost less but put farmers out of business. There is so much that goes into decided what crop to plant, including hundred of thousands in equipment costs, that without subsidies, you will have mass destabilization. If you decide to invest in corn, and so does everyone else, you won't have enough money the following year to cover your expenses. If you decide on a crop that uses lower cost equipment to harvest, you'll have less risk, but may not make any money because everyone else has the same idea. Crops are a commodity, the income you make or lose depends heavily on supply and demand. Subsidies stabilize the market, and create less fluctuation and more even production. Food prices as a result are also more stable. Farmers can invest in more high dollar high efficiency equipment, and higher yielding genetically altered seeds. This will help to further grow production based on the land we already have.
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Neez
          This is nonsense, just completely false. Agricultural subsidies are corporate welfare to buy votes in farm states. The USA is a net food exporter, not importer.
      BRYANT
      • 11 Months Ago
      Freedom is the ability to sell your (legal) stuff any way you want to. Laws that abridge that freedom are just wrong - no matter what theoretical problems anyone has.
        NewTexian Brewery
        • 11 Months Ago
        @BRYANT
        "Freedom is the ability to sell your (legal) stuff any way you want to. Laws that abridge that freedom are just wrong - no matter what theoretical problems anyone has." "Legal" is simply a term used to describe something sanctioned by the scumbags in control of your life. Every law is an opinion with gun, pointed at us by government mafiosos. Laws put a bureaucrat with a gun in the middle of voluntary interactions and transactions.
        Levine Levine
        • 11 Months Ago
        @BRYANT
        Freedom is just another word when you got nothing else to lose --- J Joplin. Everybody talks about Freedom. The more they talk about it, the more they want to sell something: wars, guns, tobacco, Cannabis, abortion, gay rights. It's gotten so bad that nobody knows what is Freedom.
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