If different is the name of the game, then Tesla Motors plays the game very well, but sometimes people don’t like different, such as various state automobile dealer associations.
Most states have laws preventing companies from selling directly to the public, which are in place to protect the automobile dealers [not the consumer]. Basically, the idea is that automobile manufacturers shouldn’t be able to set up their own stores and undercut prices, forcing the dealers out of business. Interestingly, the automobile dealer associations [ADA] think this ought to apply to Tesla Motors, as well, because Tesla Motors produces vehicles.
But, wait, isn’t Tesla Motors a new automaker? Any logical person would come to the conclusion that there are no Tesla Motors dealers to compete with. Instead of taking the route other automakers have taken, Tesla Motors has gone the technology company route, much like Apple, and opened its own stores. At a Tesla Store, buyers can find out all about the Tesla Model S, charging, financing, test drives, ordering, and service, to name a few things, exactly like when you are in a high-end automobile dealership.
The ADAs don’t see it that way, and have put a significant amount of pressure on state legislatures to block the sale of Tesla Motors vehicles direct to the consumer. For example, in spite of Texans in favor of Tesla Motors direct sales, the legislature never even looked at the bill to allow it. On the other hand, Tesla Motors scored a victory in Virginia, whose DMV says it’s OK to apply for a dealership license. Of course, there are further steps to be taken but, if Tesla Motors can set up a Tesla Store on the border with Washington, DC, where there are a number of potential buyers, it’ll mean a boost to sales in the area, further pushing up Tesla Motors’ value.
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