Red State, Blue State, indeed. Looking at this map that someone at Mojo Motors put together, you might think this is a political map of the United States, but what this map does is show where you can and cannot buy a Tesla.
Tesla Motors’ direct-sales strategy has thrown the ADAs (automobile dealer associations) into a fit, some stating that Tesla tactics will ruin automobile dealers and their way of doing business. While some state laws actually don’t allow automakers to sell direct, other state laws mention they cannot do so alongside dealers of their own products. Some legislators see the obvious logic, allowing Tesla Motors to sell direct, owing to the fact that Tesla has never had franchises that it would supposedly compete against. On the other hand, some states have been pressured by the ADAs to disallow Tesla Motors direct sales.
The resulting discord between states and their motor vehicle sales laws is reflected in the map above but that doesn’t mean that you can own or ride in a Tesla in the other states. For example, if you live in Texas, one of the Red States, it’s interesting to note that Texas is fully-equipped for Tesla ownership, including Tesla Stores, Tesla Service Centers, and Tesla Superchargers. You can comfortably drive around Texas with no problems, but if you want to buy one, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult and clandestine transaction, such as your Tesla being delivered in an unmarked van directly to your doorstep, probably with the next occurrence of the New Moon and a convenient citywide blackout.
Interestingly, some pretty big players, aside from Tesla Motors and the ADAs, have spoken up regarding Tesla Motors direct sales. General Motors, for example, sides with the ADAs, saying that Tesla is “circumvent[ing] long-established legal precedent[s] on how new motor vehicles are marketed…” On the other hand, even the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has spoken up, saying “We hope lawmakers will recognize efforts by auto dealers and others to bar new sources of competition for what they are—expressions of a lack of confidence in the competitive process that can only make consumers worse off.” In other words, Tesla Motors is only a threat because the ADAs are already on shaky ground with the consumer!
Image © Mojo Motors