Would You Sign the Petition? - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Tesla Model S: Would You Sign the Petition?

July 3, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors wants the ability to sell cars directly to consumers in all U.S. states without a dealer network.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that an "anonymous Tesla enthusiast" started a petition to put before President Obama. The petition has passed the required 100,000-signature threshold to merit a response from the White House.

States laws vary on the subject but, to simplify a complicated subject, franchise dealers are protected by state laws that prohibit manufacturers from selling and servicing automobiles directly.

What do you think should happen? Would you sign the petition ?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor


Comments

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    I have mixed feelings on this. In theory, cutting out the middleman would remove a layer of profits in the cost of a car, reducing its overall cost to consumers. In practice, it would make price-fixing easier, since there would be no competition among dealerships. Direct-to-consumer sales could work with a small company like Tesla, but not necessarily with a large one like Toyota.

  • unionbuster unionbuster Posts:

    Yes, the era of franchised dealerships is over.

  • oldparnell oldparnell Posts:

    Already have signed it - have to agree with "unionbuster" on this one. I'm not sure if the "value-added" has any value anymore.

  • stever stever Posts:

    Next up - Chery vehicles direct from China to your local WalMart?

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    From a business standpoint, selling through privately owned dealerships is a valid business strategy that allow automakers to avoid excessive vertical integration of sales and repair channels and focus instead on the core competency of making cars. From a legal perspective, *requiring* cars to be sold through private dealerships is dealer market protectionism, pure and simple.

  • ryster ryster Posts:

    If Tesla Motors' business model is to sell directly to end users then they should be allowed to do so. This isn't a typical vehicle, and if dealing with the manufacturer directly is in the best interest of the consumer that is the most important aspect.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    i don't believe Tesla should be allowed to get special treatment because it's not your 'typical' vehicle. remember when lotus couldent import the opened wheel car to the us? remember how mercedes and soon bmw will be offering luxury full electric vehicles? also a petition put on obama's desk won't do anything Obama has no power to create laws. I believe prohibiting direct to consumer sales is protected under the constitution and the states have rights to pass a law baring it. If ellon mosk wants to change this he will have to go through the proper legal chanells and sue the state(s) in federal court and have the supreme court have a ruling this probably wont happen over night what is he expecting? I just don't believe tesla should get preferential treatment. and people should think about our country before they jump on the bandwagon and go "oo i want shiney gimme." I may be wrong and the law prohibiting direct from manufacture sales of vehicles may be unconstitutional but i cannot fathom why it would be okay for tesla but not for toyota, ford, gm, or any other automaker if that was the case. i believe that Ellon Mosk has inovated the way vehicles are made and is making great strides but he is in a similler spot where Henry Ford was 100 years ago and he wont have a business unless laws change (for everyone) or his business changes. Why is he really so much against dealerships anyways? is it really to keep the cost down for consumers? Why should i believe that he has the consumer's best interest in mind? (note the vehicles are being sold at a lost and if tesla stays on track it will still be a few years before they turn a profit. somone else is floating the company until then where is that money coming from?) also it seems the customers that buy this car can afford it at almost any price these are luxury vehicles yeah they are cool but its a toy for the wealthy why would the american people bend over backwords so the 1% can have one of these? i realize the potential for exports and they are made in the usa and jobs and stuff but still. I'm not defending the laws on the books i don't know why they are there but i just hate hearing about this "well tesla is a different type of car so they get an exception.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    bassrockerx, in addition to that being a bunch of misspellings and jibberish, Tesla had their first profitable quarter in Q1 2013 and they were also cash flow positive in that quarter so saying 'it will still be a few years before they turn a profit' is just plain ignorance. Oh and 'somone else is floating the company until then where is that money coming from?)' Tesla is a public Company of which according to their latest proxy statement, the 3 largest stakeholders, Elon Musk, FMR LLC and Capital Research and Global Investors own less than 50%. That means the other just over 50% is owned by smaller investment institutions and people like you and me. Which currently is proving to be a pretty good investment seeing as how it is up nearly 250% YTD and about 500% from its IPO. I have no problem with them wanting to not use a dealer network personally. They are still a relatively small company in which individual dealerships may not be able to survive in certain areas of the country.

  • "Next up - Chery vehicles direct from China to your local WalMart?" --- No, that will be a Costco or Sams Club item. Just bring the ticket to the front and they'll have the car waiting for you when you exit :)

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    I signed it. @greenpony: Price-fixing only matters if there is no competition. However, the mfrs compete with each other. And there is the problem of widespread information availability - i.e., the internet. You can buy a car anywhere today. If a mfr is foolish enough to keep prices high, I'll go somewhere else.

  • ariusj ariusj Posts:

    I've been reading many, many arguments in favor of dealers and all of them are just plain stupid. Here are the big ones: (1) Better prices due to competition. REALLY? Dealers outbidding each other? Even when Pontiac was dying, my local GM dealer had "Dealer Markup" on their Solstice window stickers. (2) They support the local community. The way I see it only the dealer will be replaced by a Tesla service/sales center. Same thing, same jobs. Just no big box dealer.

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