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Attorney says firm won’t sell its cars at Natick Mall

Larry Chanin

President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts
Moderator
Aug 22, 2011
4,937
813
Sarasota, Florida
Attorney says firm won’t sell its cars at Natick Mall

NATICK —
An attorney representing electric car manufacturer Tesla has responded to concerns its planned Natick Mall location may not comply with state licensing rules, but not to the satisfaction of the town’s attorney.

Billy Donley, a Texas lawyer who represents Tesla, wrote this month in a letter to the town that the dealer, Tesla Motors MA, does not intend to sell cars at the Natick Mall location.

But that statement “raises the obvious question as to where and when do actual sales occur,” Town Counsel David DeLuca wrote in an email to Donley.

Larry
 
There should be a challenge to these laws on a national level. I don't see how these laws can be constitutional but they may be.

We need a lawyer for that one. Those laws are ancient and the world has changed since they were first drafted. Early on the dealership model was a net benefit to manufacturers and now that it's institutionalized car companies don't have a huge incentive to challenge it.

So it seems possible at least that this has never been litigated at the Supreme Court level. States certainly have a lot of leeway to regulate their internal marketplace and the funeral industry is a classic example of extreme anti-competitive practices being enshrined into law. But the funeral industry doesn't impact interstate commerce in the same way that car sales do.

Regardless, its the law right now and any challenge would take years to resolve.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
Moderator
May 17, 2009
18,280
162
Nevada
Last edited:

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Administrator
Nov 28, 2006
17,052
1,236
SF Bay Area
I would hope Tesla is making that 30% middleman profit to make up for the "no maintenance" of electric cars. Pass it on to customers.
So I thought the issue in MA was more that the cars have to be able to be serviced where they're sold (rather than requiring some dealership middleman). If that's the case, it does sound like the rule was made with consumer protection in mind. Though it's at odds with Tesla's model of decoupling sales from service.
 
So I thought the issue in MA was more that the cars have to be able to be serviced where they're sold (rather than requiring some dealership middleman). If that's the case, it does sound like the rule was made with consumer protection in mind. Though it's at odds with Tesla's model of decoupling sales from service.

The service issue is a requirement but really is just a sidebar. The real issue for the NADA and in this case the MADA is to protect the dealerships by restricting manufacturers ability to directly sell to the public. What if Ford set up their own Tesla style shop across the street from an established Ford dealership and simply undercut every deal because they could? The spin is to 'protect the consumer' but the reality is to protect the dealer. With Tesla's paradigm, there really is no protection or consumer issue because there is no Tesla franchised dealers to protect. So then the real issue is that established dealers for the competition cannot make the same margin on a car, which makes them less competitive as a whole, and thus the pushback from an established lobby.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,618
3,224
There's some twist, too, about there being a zoning prohibition on selling cars at the mall -- I guess car dealerships were considered too down-market for what the town planners were aiming for at the mall.
It might be interesting to see the language of the prohibition. Perhaps it's written in an "ICE" way or the rationale involves pollution (chemical and noise) type issues.
 

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