Upload & Sell: On
Zane Adams wrote:
I see Tesla Model S cars almost everyday...they are here...but
Musk could sell cars in Texas right now if he wanted to...just like every other car manufacturer....through a dealership.
Tesla wants to sell factory direct and for some reason our state doesn't like that idea....Just one of several things that our great freedom loving state does that is not so freedom loving.
Drives me nuts....but that is the libertarian in me.
I just bought some go-karts. I priced them in local stores and each one added a title fee. I bought them on-line from a Dallas area on-line only dealer and they did not require the title fee. I even had to pay a title fee for my farm utility vehicle I imagine they want that 6% tax from the sale of those $75K autos.
I think it is an ancient law put in place when car dealers had a lot more pull. We have the same laws in MA. But I believe just this week a court in NY found their similar law unconstitutional.
Here MA gets their automotive sales tax upon registration. I could by a car in NH and pay no tax, but MA would get me when I walk into the DMV.
Tesla sells plenty of cars to Texans (it's one of their largest markets), despite the dealer association's lobbying efforts in the state legislature to make it difficult. And Texas gets the sales tax on the purchase when the car is registered.
It's ironic that in a state that prides itself on rugged individualism the dealers feel the need to go hide behind the skirts of the legislature to protect them from this existential threat. The dealership system was created a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: the internet did not exist and car manufacturers needed the dealer networks to buy and distribute their products. State legislatures recognized that dealers could face unfair competition if a manufacturer were to set up a store down the street from one of its own dealers, so they created dealer laws to protect the dealers from the manufacturers they represented.
Roll the clock forward 100 years: tiny Tesla decides it can't succeed if it goes the dealership route, so it elects to sell direct to customers over the Internet. It's de modern times, mon. Tesla argues that since it has no dealers, the laws protecting dealers from the manufacturers they represent don't apply. Customers love the experience of purchasing a car online (despite exceptions there are few experiences in modern life that create more fear and loathing than buying a car from a dealer: every consumer poll confirms it); dealers see the handwriting on the wall and panic, and instead of reacting to competition by improving their 'product', dealer lobbies set out to get their legislatures to ban Tesla from selling cars in their states. The legislatures can't prevent people from _buying_ cars over the Internet and registering them in the state, but dealers sure as hell don't want to let Tesla set a precedent that weakens the public's unthinking acceptance of the existing dealership arrangements.
Somebody mentioned cheap cars. Sure, there are a lot of perfectly good automobiles sold under $35K, but there are also a lot of perfectly mainstream automobiles sold in that $35K range: it represents a huge market expansion for Tesla, one more step down the path to general acceptance of EVs. Tesla, BTW, now owns the luxury sedan market in the U.S., outselling all of their direct competitors in that price range.