The Tesla Motors direct-sales approach has gathered a lot of criticism across the Nation, not from consumers, but from special-interest groups.
Those special-interest groups, of course, are only interested in maintaining the status quo, the monopoly that the automobile dealers have over the products they sell. For the most part, the laws state that automobile manufacturers cannot sell directly to the consumer alongside the automobile dealers. This is solely to protect the dealers, who make their profits by selling vehicles at a higher price than the manufacturer could.
Interestingly, Tesla Motors, who has sold no franchise rights to automobile dealers, shouldn’t be affected by these laws at all. Instead, Tesla Motors should be able, legally, to sell directly to the customer in pretty much every state. This legal precedent has, by no means, prevented the automobile dealer associations (ADA) from trying to block Tesla Motors direct sales.
Yesterday, Tesla Motors met in New Jersey against the ADA there, the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), which has proposed a new law that would effectively block direct sales by any manufacturer. The specific target is, of course, Tesla Motors, but smooth-talking lawyers have kept that particular tidbit out of the language of Proposal PRN 2013-138.
Tesla Motors has been working closely with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and with Governor Chris Christie, both of whom were ostensibly working on delaying or blocking the proposal. According to the Tesla Motors blog, “We are disappointed in the actions of the NJMVC and the Christie Administration, which come on the heels of more than nine months of unexplained delays in the issuing of a new sales license for Tesla, despite our numerous requests, calls, and letters.”
Image © NJCAR