Tesla decries special interest group legislation, asks for same

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America loves an underdog. Right up until it doesn’t. Why Tesla should tread lightly regarding its direct sales model.

For those who have been under a rock for the past three years, Tesla is an automobile manufacturer. Specifically, they make luxury electric cars in relatively low volumes. Their plan is to do that a while longer and then introduce a breakthrough vehicle for us all that is compelling to drive, electric, and affordable.

One advantage that makes Tesla very special is the company does not have any car dealers. It sells its products and services its products directly. When you buy a Tesla, you buy from Tesla. You don’t have to go through most of the stereotypical things we dislike about dealerships. That is where it runs into some trouble.

Most people hate to buy cars. Most people blame car dealers for this. So, right off the bat, Tesla is ahead in terms of public opinion. However, Tesla is running into legal challenges in all markets, but a few key ones in particular. Long ago all the car dealers got together and formed a sort of cartel. They used their influence to get state legislators to pass laws that say only car dealers can sell cars. There was good reason for this. They were afraid of holding huge inventory and making huge investments and then having the principals they sold for (the car makers) sell direct and undercut them.

Tesla is now fighting a guerrilla war all over the US against these laws. In some places like Texas, it is losing the fight. In other places, like Ohio it is winning. Right now in Georgia Tesla is backing a bill that creates an exemption to existing law that allows for zero emissions vehicle makers (electric car makers) to sell up to 1500 of their cars directly each year. It previously had a smaller exemption. This would allow only Tesla to continue to increase its sales while selling directly in Georgia. The other EV automakers like Nissan won’t sell direct because they have dealers who would be mighty angry if they indeed sold direct around them. As a Tesla fan, I cheer when Tesla wins cases like this and I support the company’s efforts.


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Tesla is NOT the special interest group however you put it. From the beginning of our civilization, people have always been able to sell what they make whatever way they want as long as their products are safe and functional as advertised. No one should have the right to strip people that right. Just because Tesla refuses to obey, it doesn't make it a special interest group.
This nation is full of special interest groups and their protectionist cartels. Lawyers are one (try practicing law without a "license"), doctors are another (ditto), hairstylists (licensing..), and more. Licensing laws aren't created for public safety, they're created to make a special cartel that only those with special access can get into; all others are banned from business. Oh.. and Tesla IS a special interest, Johnny. Or don't you know about the EV tax credits available federally and in many states? You know, the one that is only for special interests like Tesla who make EVs?