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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Tobias Lake
The cake is a lie.
01:07 PM on 10/24/2012
To hell with the dealers, go Tesla!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Arnold Gill
Astrophysicist, college instructor, programmer
10:36 AM on 10/24/2012
The fundamental issue is that car dealerships make their money on repairs and maintenance, much less than actual sales. EVs don't have much of that, so this backlash is just going to increase.

Check out a Nissan dealership, how many Leafs are in stock? Are they being promoted? The Leaf seriously undercuts more profitable ICE sales, and with little maintenance, there is no incentive for dealers to have them around.
01:15 PM on 10/24/2012
Funny thing about Nissan Leaf, take a look at its maintenance schedule sometime - it's full of a ridiculous number of brake maintenance checks, way more than a typical car.

Is there something about Leaf that would cause its brakes to need so much attention? No, just the opposite - regenerative braking reduces brake wear quite a bit.

In fact, all the scheduled brake checks are in there to keep the dealerships happy. There's certainly no engine maintenance there (think about the electric motor in your refrigerator - does it need maintenance checks?)

I drive a Chevy Volt, which does have a gas engine - but the engine barely runs most of the time. The onboard computer tells me that I can go two years between oil changes. Of course, this doesn't stop the dealer from badgering me with insistent emails and phone calls to schedule oil changes and other maintenance I don't need every few months.

Gotta feel sorry for the dealerships.
04:48 PM on 10/24/2012
"Gotta feel sorry for the dealerships."

No, I don't.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Arnold Gill
Astrophysicist, college instructor, programmer
07:56 PM on 10/24/2012
Think of it this way - so much of the maintenance required over the years becomes meaningless make-work if you consider that it need not be done. Frees up a lot of man-hours for other types of work.
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Vader 2112
A Proud Progressive!
09:38 AM on 10/24/2012
“Existing franchise dealers,” he wrote, “have a fundamental conflict of interest between selling gasoline cars, which constitute the vast majority of their business, and selling the new technology of electric cars.”

“It is impossible for [existing franchise dealers] to explain the advantages of going electric without simultaneously undermining their traditional business,” Musk added. “This would leave the electric car without a fair opportunity to make its case to an unfamiliar public.”

Makes Perfect sense. Guess that is why people are having issues with Musk's decision.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Shawn828
06:51 PM on 10/24/2012
Logic does that sometimes.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Bobcatter
Jeffersonian Jarhead
08:46 AM on 10/24/2012
And the law is ridiculous btw. It's not meant to protect dealers from the big manufacturers. The big makers have no interest in opening brick and mortar stores, they save a ton of money letting the independents finance that. The law is there to keep small car makers and start-ups from competing in the first place because they won't have the pull to get an independent to take on their line of cars. Suppression of competition is the game here and only the big makers will benefit.
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Hunter3203
Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to b happy
08:35 AM on 10/24/2012
Elon Musk is wrong. Automobile dealers are in the business of selling cars, period. They don't care if they're made in the US, Japan, Germany or Korea. They also don't care if they're powered by gas, natural gas, electricity or diesel. The only thing Tesla needs to do is require any potential dealer to sell Teslas out of a separate, independent dealership. That's what Toyota required when they launched the Lexus brand. They can set up all kinds of requirements so that their cars are sold in the manner that they wish.

This isn't the first misstep that Musk has made regarding the Model S. Tesla recently announced a required $600/yr maintenance inspection that can only be performed by Tesla themselves. Failure to do so invalidates the factory warranty. Tesla will soon learn that that violates the Magnuson-Moss warranty act.
11:25 AM on 10/24/2012
Agree that Musk is wrong. Musk could have his dealerships be independent and yet be educated with training and required with other investment and measurable operational standards to be competent to sell and service his vehicles. If he believes his competition is incompetent, then he and his independent dealerships would have an advantage.
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11:34 AM on 10/24/2012
Even if auto dealers really are as unbiased as you suggest, why should any company be prohibited by law from selling their products directly to customers?

Should Best Buy have the right to enjoin the Apple Stores?
Should Whole Foods be protected from farmer's markets?

The whole premise of free enterprise is that all you need to enter a market is customers willing to pay an acceptable price for your product. It shouldn't be necessary to win over third-party retailers or any other gatekeeper that wants to control market access to potential customers.
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Hunter3203
Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to b happy
02:20 PM on 10/24/2012
We do in fact have such laws and many other regulations regarding virtually every business in this country.  Automakers could easily build a car that gets over 100mpg that cost less than $10,000 if they didn't have to meet all the pesky safety and emmission regulations. But guess what,  the auto business is one of the most regulated in our country.  Not only are they regulated how they can sell their product, they have to meet differing emission standards based on which state they're selling in. 
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
xiam007
Making Unique Observations in a Cluttered World
08:31 AM on 10/24/2012
not a lot of sympathy for the car dealers here...
04:42 AM on 10/24/2012
I want a Tesla !

Car Shipping
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Robg264
I am one of the 47%
03:23 AM on 10/24/2012
Basically the dealerships are upset because they can't screw over the consumers with its shady practices in selling cars.
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smeeeee
Now take your nice red pill
03:00 AM on 10/24/2012
Good for them. And clever to find this way of marketing it.
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Dick Stone
My Andalusian works hard and loves his job
02:36 AM on 10/24/2012
Musk is absolutely correct about why Tesla should be in stand alone company owned dealerships, especially in the beginning. If I had a Tesla I don't think that I would want someone servicing it that really didn't understand the technology. The Chevrolet dealers techs don't even know how to work on their own Volt. The Tesla is a great car, with an outstanding design, I can't afford one, but if I could, I would want a factory Tesla dealership taking care of it.
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Napoleon3
01:43 AM on 10/24/2012
You have to enjoy the irony that Obamas investments in green have failed because of the very regulations of government picking winners and losers. I guess that is why you will never see a company like Apple ever make a car.
02:14 AM on 10/24/2012
How is this relevant?

It seems like an existing anti-competitive structure which entrenches itself via political leverage is the topic here. Is there really a difference between D and R on the inefficient, bloated franchise auto dealer system?

GM, Ford, Tesla and others should be allowed to run company stores. You'd then have a consistently good or bad level of service at the retail level, and the auto company would stand or fall based on that. They may find the service is better provided by independent dealers and continue using that model. Currently there's no choice, as the laws are designed to add an extra layer of overhead into the auto buying process.

Tesla has an innovative product. It has several generations to go before it becomes economically competitive, but I'd sure rather have this line made in USA instead of imported from China. Having Tesla, its engineers, suppliers and brand located here is a plus even if it is bought out by Ford before ever turning a profit.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Elbrando
The dream shall never die - Ted Kennedy
10:36 AM on 10/24/2012
That's not ironic because companies succeed and fail all the time. You would have to show a causal link between government investment and businesses failing and there are no studies that show that.

What is ironic is that the very companies that decry that the government is regulating to much are now asking the government to go after Tesla with regulations. Of course now that I think about it that is less ironic and more hypocritical.
01:40 AM on 10/24/2012
Go Tesla, bring our vehicles into the future & cut down on some of the worlds emissions!
01:40 AM on 10/24/2012
Go Tesla!! Get rid of the middle men!
01:39 AM on 10/24/2012
Ten to one the oil companies are financing this frivolous lawsuit,
11:20 AM on 10/24/2012
Ill take that bet.
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French Toast
MAPLE SYRUP
12:39 AM on 10/24/2012
No, Bob O’Koniewski, it isn't problematic. You represent middlemen who have never been anything but the sneakiest and least trustworthy people this side of a prison. The sooner you are cut out, the better.