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Tesla Model S Direct Sales in Texas, Reminds me of Prohibition

Tesla Model S on Display in Tesla Gallery, but Don't Ask Any Questions
Tesla Model S on Display in Tesla Gallery, but Don’t Ask Any Questions

In many states, the automobile dealer associations [ADA] have been fighting to keep Tesla Motors from selling the Tesla Model S directly to clients.

There have been some successes and failures, the most recent of which in Texas, where Tesla Motors’ appeal to sell directly to clients didn’t even make it to the floor before the end of legislative session. Big money kept Tesla Motors’ appeal from making it to the floor, but Elon Musk is taking his fight higher up, which would change the way all cars, even conventional ones, are sold here in the US.

Because the law in Texas says automakers can’t sell directly to clients, but only through dealerships., this means that Tesla Motors can’t sell cars in Texas. Instead of a Tesla Store, following the Apple Store model, Tesla can only put up a Tesla Gallery. Associates can’t talk about pricing, financing, tax credits, or even take you for a test drive. The best they can do is point interested persons at the company website.

If Tesla Model S buyers in Texas aren’t frustrated by the complete lack of relevant information and hands-on experience with the vehicle, which is prohibited by law, they can purchase their very own Tesla Model S remotely, through a dealership in California. Your new Tesla Model S will arrive in an unmarked transport, directly to your door, which is convenient, but without so much as a brief introduction to the vehicle, which is less convenient. Tesla Service Centers are even more nondescript, prohibited from showing the Tesla Motors Logo, advertising they work on Tesla Model S, or even letting the customer know what is wrong with their vehicle. You’ll have to call the California dealership for that information.

Tesla Model S owners in Texas have a lot to deal with, being under ban and all. How long will Texas, and other states, hold out against the direct-sales tactics of Tesla Motors? Public opinion is at odds, but who has enough money to fight against the ADAs?Reminds me of the failed 18th Amendment.

Tesla Service Center = Hooch Parlor?

Image © atmtx Foter CC BY-NC-ND

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