Is there anything Americans dislike more than being told who they have to do business with? Tesla Motors wisely decided long ago it wanted nothing to do with the dealership model that has evolved to an awful state of affairs in this country. It wanted a more direct relationship with its customers so that it could take good care of them.
In Ohio, an amendment to a road safety bill was introduced that would have banned Tesla from selling direct. We received word tonight that it was defeated.
Dealers who long ago financed their local politicians into granting them the right to be between you and your automaker cried foul. Foul what, we are not sure. As far as anyone can tell the dealers initially feared that they would invest huge money into dealing a brand only to later have the manufacturer undercut them and destroy their investment. We can understand that concern. It is valid. What makes no sense is that dealers now say that in order for Tesla to sell you a car, it has to first send the car to a dealer, who will not only mark it up, but also add its notorious “documentation fees” and then try to sell you undercoating to protect your aluminum car from rust. It seems now that dealers simply want to use the power they have to force you to deal with them, rather than buy directly from the automaker, which in this case has no dealers.
Tesla fans are rooting for Tesla of course. They want to be able to deal with their automaker directly. A recent story at Torque News revealed that there is a huge groundswell of emotion about the Tesla direct sales model. In our story we pointed out that not only is it the company’s biggest strength, but also, could be its biggest challenge as sales escalate. One impassioned reader, Charlotte O., was generous enough to add her two cents to the dialogue (We don’t have arguments with readers here. We respect and invite them to participate in the discussion). Here is a story she wrote to us directly:
"Since we’ve been getting colder, I have had warning
on the dash such as “Tire Pressure Low” but that goes away after driving a
few miles. Similarly “Battery heating, your power will improve as you
drive” and finally, “Regen disabled”. The latter was new to me so I
e-mailed Tesla, and they CALLED back in couple of hours to tell me that
that was due to the cold weather, too, and that they are working on
software update for cold winter conditions!"
This is what makes Tesla so special. All cars have mechanical issues, but with Tesla you deal with Tesla. They do everything they can to make their customers happy. What will make their customers most happy are local legislatures allowing a company to sell its products to its customers without a legislated middle man to muddy things.
Our first source was Transport Evolved. You can read the details at the site.