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Get Involved - Its time to get serious about solving the dealership franchise problem

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by yobigd20, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Now that all the announcement fun is over with (for the time being...lol) it's time for EVERYONE (Tesla *AND* "we the people") to get serious about solving this dealership/franchise problem.

    Obviously Tesla is under full attack from auto dealer lobbyists pushing these ridiculous laws at a state by state level. The auto dealer unions etc have a monopoly and are actively taking action to prevent Tesla from selling their cars to us. These laws themselves are so ridiculous, perhaps they may even be violations of our constitutional rights.

    The states that I know about "in trouble" are New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Massachusetts. (feel free to correct me or clarify any of the following statements if they are not accurate) In Texas I think you can only buy online and Tesla can't talk about pricing in stores. In Virginia I think is the same now as Texas? I know they had trouble opening the Tyson's store. On top of that, North Carolina pushed laws to even make it illegal to buy a Tesla via the internet (though I think you can still cross state lines and purchase it out of state and still register it in NC.) That itself might violate the Interstate Commerce clause and I'm guess should be an easy win by a lawsuit. I think it's illegal to make a law to regulate your purchases in a different state. And now in NY, on top of all of those, they want to make it illegal to even register a Tesla and make it retroactive to 2006 which is make all Roadsters as well illegal to drive in NY.

    So far, the approaches to solve this so far that I know about are:
    1. Tesla fighting back to stop laws state by state.
    2. White house petitions (started by "us")
    3. people calling their state government officials
    4. FTC complaints
    Tesla fighting back to stop laws state by state.
    IMO, Tesla fighting back state by state in a scattered approach is just not an effective one. Auto dealerships and their monopolies unfortunately have a lot of money and power and influence. While they will win here and there, there is a lot of time, energy, and money spent to fight these. And it doesn't guarantee a universal solution across the country.

    White house petitions (started by "us")
    I think Tesla fight this alone isn't enough. We, as the people in this country, also need to get involved. The two White House petitions are a great start.

    People calling their state government officials
    Please don't stop doing this. While each individual person is only 1 voice, as a group, it definitely makes it known to them that what the auto dealerships are trying to do is wrong. but still, this won't guarantee a universal solution across the country. Each one of us should have the same constitutional right to own a Tesla.

    FTC Complaints
    Another good approach by the people. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/17591-FTC-complaint

    What to do?
    Well, I don't know. Which is why I'm starting this thread. The only real solution that I can think of is one at a federal level. New FTC law possibly. But how do we get this started? I think it is obviously that the FTC is in agreement with us, given their position with their recommendations to North Carolina years ago. This thread also contains some good info: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/18095-Department-of-Justice-Paper-Advocating-Direct-Sales-of-Cars-by-Manufacturers

    Specifically, both the Department of Justice and the FTC I think are in agreement with us to allow manufacturers to directly sell to consumers.

    And so lets discuss this. What can we do, as people of this country that want to make a difference. Each one of us should have the right to purchase and own this great American product without any interference from auto dealers and the ridiculous state laws they are trying to push. I remember Elon himself said that the real solution to this must be driven by the people, us, and that Tesla can't do it alone.

    I have more 2 suggestions that will help on top of the FTC complaints and White House petitions. They are not a solution, but will help spread the word and draw more attention to this manner. The more people are aware of this situation the better. I think most Americans would be in agreement that this great American company with a great product should be allowed to sell it to the people in it's own country!


    1. A facebook page dedicated to this fight (please discuss what it should be called and if anyone wants to start it)
    2. A web site also dedicated to this fight.

    I can't commit the time to start either, but I would like to see both if possible.

    Again I think the real solution needs to be solved at by federal law. What options do we have? How do we make this happen? A simple FTC complaint doesn't seem enough to initiate new law, so how do we drive this?

    I do want to make it clear IMO I am not trying to advocate for "getting rid of the dealership network", but rather leave them be, and allow companies like Tesla who have no franchises to operate their own stores just like Apple does. I hesitate to saw this, but I might even concede to something like a compromise, perhaps federal law that states something like 'Allow manufacturer to consumer direct auto sales for manufactures with less than 500,000 yearly sales and allow manufacturer owned and operated stores'. Also law to prevent something like New York trying to make it illegal to register a Tesla would be necessary too. That would be enough to get new companies started and off the ground without interference from auto dealers. Once they start getting above 500,000 sales a year, perhaps a "phase in period" starts where auto dealers can work in conjunction with the manufacturer owned stores that are already running. It's a compromise, but might be a necessary one.

    Anywho, let's make a difference! Discuss and take action!
     
  2. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

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    This boils down to "union vs. non-union". NADA is clearly union and Tesla non-union. How do other businesses/industries deal with the pressure to "unionize" when they don't want to?
     
  3. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I think that statement is completely false.
     
  4. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #4 SwedishAdvocate, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
    Ok, you completely lost me on that one.

    What do you mean? That NADA is "union" like blue-collar workers on minimum wage?

    Tesla is not non-union. Why wouldn't Tesla unionize? It's just that we currently don't know of anyone that they're unionizing with. Personally I would love for Tesla to unionize with all other car manufacturers and kill off NADA once and for all. The sooner, the better.

    Sorry for the off-topic. Carry on...
     
  5. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

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    First, an apology, because I don't want to derail this important topic.

    Second, I was using union as an analogy and not literally. NADA is the union in my analogy because they have set up the rules. Tesla comes in and decides it's not in their best interest to join in (thus "non-union").

    So the point I was making is this, how does a company that starts up a business in union industry but decides they don't want to be subject to "union rules" survive?

    This is not a comment on if it's good or bad to be union, simply using that model as an historical lesson. Unions are often painted as the "bad guys", but that has nothing to do with this analogy.
     
  6. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    I do not like the way I am treated when purchasing a car at a dealership. I do not like their sales tactics. I loved the way I was treated at the Century City Tesla store. For me, it is that simple. I believe the overwhelming majority of Americans agree.
     
  7. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

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    All polls agree with your assessment. Consumers believe that Tesla should be able to sell directly to them, instead of through a dealership.

    Maybe the answer is ballot propositions in the affected states. Let the majority decide if Tesla can do business in their state (instead of the representatives). NADA can outspend Tesla 20-1 in commercials and I still think citizens would side with Tesla. I think a certain amount of signatures on petitions would be required to get it on the ballot.

    Perhaps that is our role? To help in our home states to get enough signatures from voters to get it on the ballots? I think close to 90% of the people that can't even afford to buy a Tesla now would still side with people's rights to buy it.
     
  8. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    #8 ggies07, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
    Yep. I will have one probably by Gen III. I live in Texas and dont want to have to deal with this crap. Ive already been to the Gallery and know all about the product. I dont need a salesman to help me buy the car.
     
  9. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    The way people are heard is (1) by contacting their representation and (2) by press and presence. One has been covered. I think two deserves our attention. The number of people in the Tesla family combined with the number we can reach in our ambasador roll are simply not enough to move the dial. Press will reach way more people and protest (of the right/constructive/entertaining kind) will keep the idea in the press beyond the first printing.

    Overall, a very small percentage of the car buying population will be MS buyers. We need to streatch awareness beyond owners and potential buyers with a message that resonates which is beginning to sound a lot like a PR campaign.
     
  10. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

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    :cursing: I hear a lot of outrage and discontent about the legal strategy being used against Tesla. But the White House Petition mentioned above is amazingly short of signatures!!!

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!

    SIGN THE DAMN PETITION!!!

    Saying witty things on the blogs is not voicing your support ...... That spitting into the wind!!!
    Signing petitions, calling your legislatures, writing letters is how you show support. WE are the only way to keep TESLA alive in the USA. We MUST stop sitting on our butts with our finger up our collective noses and SUPPORT TESLA!!!

    Elon has given enough to keep the dream going..... DAMN IT ITS YOUR TURN!!
     
  11. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Tesla has shipped a little over 10K cars. The forums represent a fraction of owners. Perhaps a few thousand signatures is an accurate reflection (?).

    I think it is through these glasses that we should look at the problem.

    Sure, dealers are useless (from our perspective) and what they are doing is "wrong". That being said, we are but a very small number of people that want our way and thus are complaining about dealers and their attempts to stifle Tesla. The approach may just be to sneak around the edges of this until the momentum grows.

    For example, Tesla can have showrooms, service centers and MS can be registered in the state. Tesla can not "sell" the cars. Fine, the showrooms show like they do everywhere else and clearly state that Texas law prevents them from selling. Customers can find information on the web site. If you need any help related to pricing or the buying process, here are the names and numbers of local owners that can (legally) answer those questions as they are not employees of, or otherwise compensated by, Tesla.

    If it is needed in Florida, I'll gladly do it. Heck, I am already doing it and will continue to do what I can to help others experience the epiphany that is Tesla.
     
  12. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    The following was posted in this thread:

    FTC complaint - Page 3

    Post #25:
    Post #31:
    Post #32:
    Post #33:
    Post #34:
    Post #35:
    Post #36:
    Post #37:
     
  13. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    First of all let me clarify the very first post with regards to the NY legislation. The proposed amendment to existing legislation will not prevent a consumer from registering a Tesla in the past present or future. What it would do is prevent Tesla from acquiring new dealer licenses AND retroactively rescinds any non compliant licenses issued after July 1 2006.

    Secondly rather than comparing this to union vs non union I would simply say that this is a question of fair competition vs an established oligopoly. If you read the legislation most of the law (at least in NY) pertains to a licensing requirement and what the relationship should be between the manufacturer and the dealer. These issues should not be legislated but be part of contract negotiations between the two parties. In Tesla's case there is only one party. As a result the proposed legislation IMO would fall squarely under the interstate commerce clause of the constitution. Please be aware I am not an attorney.

    Based on the premise I have laid out the base way to expedite this process is for an aggrieved consumer to sue a state in federal that does not permit direct sales. Unfortunately this would take time and money.
     
  14. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Elon has tweeted that the NY attempt has failed.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I suspect that the politicians there don't want to be seen as the new Tammany Hall.
     
  16. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    I agree with lolachampcar here. I do not have the figure on how many people are members of this forum but certainly I 'assume' it is well under the 14,000 owners of an S or Roadster. I believe the petition is a well intended idea and I have signed it. However, I do not believe there is enough time to get the 100K signatures before the deadline.
    NADA and their political friends in several states have made it difficult to acquire a Tesla in several states but the company and consumers are still able to get them and register them. It is the responsibility of the consumers in those states to deal with their representatives.

    For people like myself in a state where there is no current problem (Delaware) where I do have several friends in the legislative branch should I approach them before this becomes an issue OR by approaching them do I make it an issue???
     
  17. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    #17 Liz G, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
    One of the best ways I have found to raise awareness, at least in Missouri, is to take my S to car shows. Not sure how popular the are in other states but in Missouri there are several every weekend. I bring brochures, show off the car, and educate people on both Tesla and the advantages of owning an EV. Overall it is a very positive experience. Although we always get one guy who thinks we should be able to create a perpetual motion machine to charge the car while driving. :)

    We end up getting quite a few people who want to buy the S or the Gen III when it comes out. But most importantly we are able to dispell a lot of the false rumors about EV's. If you have time I really suggest doing a car show. It is quite fun.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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  20. Nichen

    Nichen Member

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    I'm not from America but this concerns me a lot because I'm a die-hard Tesla fan and a fan of democracy so I signed the petition. Lets try to get the link on the Facebook Tesla-page!
     

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