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FTC on direct-sales model

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by AlMc, May 16, 2014.

  1. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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  2. DJ Frustration

    DJ Frustration Model X Sig, Former Model S, Model 3 Res

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  3. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry Model S - U.S. P - #1649

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    NADA may well have been better off without starting this entire discussion.

    Have they shot themselves in the(ir) foot(feet)?
     
  4. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    Once Pandora's box has been opened, it's hard to close it again.
    I'm guessing the dealer agreements GM, Ford, etc have with stealerships have to be renewed every so often.
    I wouldn't be surprised to see the majors refusing to renew, and opening their own galleries/internet ordering, copying Teslas business model. The stealerships will still be around for service and selling used cars (both of which make them more money than selling new cars), the writing is already on the wall ...
     
  5. FluxCap

    FluxCap Active Member

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    Indeed. This is a fight picked by a disrupted industry that was ripe for retirement, has zero public support, and is destined to fade into the annals of history.

    Since I'm feeling corny today: do you hear that quiet electric hum, NADA? That is the sound of inevitability.

    The sound of inevitability - YouTube
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    There's a "this is big" line in the article that shouldn't be overlooked: the Commissioners approved these staff comments by unanimous votes. So this issue has gone beyond being a deniable "what some staffers think" note to a Commission-endorsed POV. That's a big deal.
     
  7. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    I looked up FTC on wiki to get a sense of who they are and their power.

    The issue of dealers fight against Tesla seems to fall into FTC domain. The question is what can FTC do about it apart from issuing statements and what are they likely to do.
     
  8. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    The FTC can do a lot. They are the ones that Solarworld went to and started the whole solar trade war.

    If the FTC intervenes that means that Texas would be opened up too, right?

    This is huge news, but the question is, will the street see it as that?
     
  9. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    Not sure if this belongs in Short Term, Short Term 'Social' or Long Term thread:

    Curious: to the more politically saavy TMC members. Does the recent FTC position paper give the White House political 'cover' to finally answer the petition to allow direct sales that we all signed so many months ago? Second...If it does, will we finally hear from the WH?
     
  10. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    I am convinced that NADA wields much greater clout at the state and local levels. During a midterm election year, I can't imagine any national politician would want to be seen as squashing free markets. This will be turned in a very positive speaking point. Just my two cents.
     
  11. FluxCap

    FluxCap Active Member

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    I'm confident the recent FTC guidance was at least partially constructed in collaboration with the President's staff, as that is how these things go. The political appointees at the FTC are in regular communications with WH staff as it is their directive to carry out the President's policy direction while they hold their positions. There are a number of offices who could have been involved.

    The likely calculation is that it might be too much of a political football to comment on the thread instead of letting this play out in the public arena with weigh-in by entities perceived as more neutral and less political (i.e. the FTC versus "The White House").

    In effect, I am extremely confident in this administration's private support for Tesla Motors as Tesla's loan payback is clearly a huge victory from the 2009 Recovery Act stimulus efforts, but I'm equally sure they are nervous about wedding the President's political agenda to one company (even one as great as Tesla Motors) at this point.

    Elon himself may actually not want the President's staff to directly comment on his company. It's already extremely politicized and he may want to diffuse some of that.

    Just some theories.

    History is not going to be on the side of the auto dealership lobby in this fight, and I suspect Elon and his friends in the administration would rather play softball than hardball at the federal level right now while states battle it out. I'm not saying that's the right or wrong strategy, but it appears to be the strategy.

    Also Elon meets with the President and members of Congress personally but privately fairly regularly, and I think he likes it that way, for now.
     
  12. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    This is good analysis. Also remember that the dealer battles are only very slightly hampering Tesla's actual sales in the US, if something perhaps shifting a few sales from one state to another. Not a big problem, as long as you are production constrained anyway. In the meanwhile there is a lot of free and positive P.R. for Tesla. If I were them I'd let it play out slowly just the way it's going at the moment. Now, if Tesla had demand issues and needed to make more sales in the states where they are prohibited they would be attacking this matter much harder, however in that case this would be one of their smaller problems.
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #13 Robert.Boston, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
    It's entirely possible that the recent FTC comments are, de facto, the White House's response. Remember that the President appoints the FTC commissioners. For my money, the FTC's actions are far more effective than anything the President could have done directly.

    edit: Which is what FluxCap said more eloquently. Yep, WH moving behind the scenes.
     
  14. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    Robert and Flux: That is the way I would read it also. I believe that the FTC statement IS the WH statement. I think if the WH came out with a statement it would put more 'politics' back into the discussion. It will be interesting to see what transpires in the different anti-Tesla state capitols movings forward.
     
  15. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    over a year ago I filed a complaint with FTC to which they have never responded. Official complaints deserve answers either way. I complained of not being able to buy tesla in Virginia then. Since Virginia let me register the car after state inspection they obviously had no problem with the safety of the car. Wonder how many other complaints go unanswered
     
  16. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    They may not have answered your specific complaint, but I would think that there is a cumulative effect where if they see a lot of the same complaints, they will feel more compelled to take some sort of action eventually. Your actions were likely helpful.
     
  17. FluxCap

    FluxCap Active Member

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    Your complaint may not have received a direct answer likely due to staffing constraints, but it DOES matter and kudos to you for submitting it. I am a former Fed (different department), and we absolutely did read public comments carefully. These comments absolutely do affect policymaking / guidance that is produced, and it's usually someone (or a team of someone's) job to aggregate comments, spot trends, and provide data for senior policymakers on public opinion, so every submission that shares your sentiment would add to that data set. Every submission does count, and believe it or not the vast majority of civil service Feds do care about their work and try to represent the public well.

    Also, you wouldn't believe the power of a well-written and measured opinion vs. a sloppy, angry, rage-filled one. If you submit a well-reasoned, polite yet firm argument, your submission tends to rise above the pack.

    Though naturally I can't speak for every Federal agency having equally dedicated people, my experience was that we were very concerned with public comments and opinions and did our best to determine policymaking based in large part on those very same comments.

    Remember, when everyone thinks Feds don't listen and noone speaks out, the few voices that do are the ones that get heard.

    Good on you for being one of those voices.
     
  18. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    On 2014 MAR 11, I sent what I believed to be a firm well-reasoned yet polite email to the FTC regarding the Tesla related White House petition, and asked if they would respond to it. On 2014 MAR 19, FTC lawyer Alan Friedman replied, "Thank you for your email. It has been forwarded to the appropriate Commission staff members for review." On 2014 APR 24, three FTC staff members responded publicly in favor of Tesla's direct sales model, while bashing the dealerships and their supportive state legislators. Then on 2014 MAY 16 the FTC Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of its staff's April opinion, and made a specific request to Missouri and New Jersey legislators that they allow Tesla's sales model. Indeed, some federal officials do respond positively and actively to emails from citizens.
     
  19. haid

    haid Member

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    If you believe that, then I suppose the WH is behind the recent FCC proposed destruction of net neutrality.
     
  20. blakegallagher

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    To believe your email was the sole or main cause for this is awesome ! If unrealistic. I am sure all the emails they received in favor of Tesla certainly did not hurt though.
     

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