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Houston Business Journal Op-Ed: Allow Direct Car Sales in Texas

Discussion in 'News' started by Curt Renz, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    In todays (April 13) Houston Business Journal there is an op-ed article written by two top officials of a conservative Texas think tank arguing that selling cars direct to customers shouldn't be illegal in Texas: Link to Article
     
  2. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    An economics professor testified yesterday (April 13) to a Texas House Committee that Tesla Motors should be allowed to sell cars directly to consumers: Prof. Roth
     
  3. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    The Op-Ed was weirdly written to hate on Tesla, but then be in their favor. I hate that people keep saying the tax credits are a benefit *to Tesla* when they aren't Tesla doesn't get anything from those credits... at least not directly. I suppose you could argue that Tesla is able to inflate their price by 7,500 since they know the consumer will get that credit in the end, except... Tesla sells their cars for the same price regardless of State and regardless of country. So I would argue that Tesla is not directly/indirectly benefiting from those credits. At best, it is driving demand up in areas with higher incentives toward EVs, but even that falls apart when you consider that Tesla is not the only one who sells EVs so it isn't *just a benefit to Tesla*.

    The ZEV credits are a whole other animal which again isn't actually the government/taxpayer paying out anything to Tesla. It is the other auto manufacturers willingly buying credits so if you are a GM customer you are indirectly supporting Tesla if GM buys Tesla's excess credits. If GM doesn't buy credits and they come up short then the *owe* the state money. So I guess you could sorta twist that to suggest that Tesla is helping GM avoid paying their "fair share" by buying credits they didn't deserve to avoid a higher penalty to the government. But then one could argue that cruise control enables people to avoid paying their "fair share" by ensuring that you never go over the speed limit, when if you did the state would be getting extra money from you. So again, this whole argument falls apart.

    Is Tesla making money on ZEV credits? You bet! Is it burdening the taxpayer? I would argue, no, at best it "burdens" GM, which could be choosing to pass that "burden" on to their customers, but you could choose to not buy a GM vehicle. Or GM could just make non-polluting vehicles a bigger part of their company... Or GM could stop paying their board members such enormous salaries and compensation packages...
     
  4. doggusfluffy

    doggusfluffy Closed

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  5. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I was there, and believe me this wasn't just political posturing and theater. If the bill comes to a vote I don't see any of the committee members voting for it. See my Texas post if you want the details, but have your airsickness bag handy.
     
  6. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    I agree that selling car direct to the consumer should not be illegal.
     
  7. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    Why are Texans so opposed to American free competitive enterprise and supportive of laws to interfere with it? Are they all commies?
     
  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Texans are not opposed. Texas legislators whose campaigns were paid for by auto dealers (which includes almost all of them) are opposed, as well as the ecosystem of local media kept afloat by auto dealer advertising. Part of the problem is a senator or representative's salary is only $7200/yr plus a per diem during the session (140 days every 2 years). So they're dependent on what is known as "the lobby", meaning auto dealers, alcohol distributors, and the other rent-seeking industries. Our other problem is that Texas legislators are honest-- once they're bought, they stay bought.

    Remember what Upton Sinclair said-- It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
     
  9. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    So in other words, democracy is a failed concept in Texas.
     
  10. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Political corruption isn't limited to Texas. I think there might have been one or two corrupt politicians in Chicago, if I recall...
     
  11. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    I found this statement in that article which is completely false:

    "In Texas, the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program provides financial incentives of up to $2,500 for purchase or lease of an electric car, including Tesla automobiles. "

    This is not true. Tesla vehicles do NOT qualify for this incentive specifically because they are not sold through a dealer. Leaf, Volt and I3 are eligible for this incentive.
     
  12. CliffG

    CliffG Member

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    More like a useful fiction.
     
  13. redi

    redi 2013 P85+ with HumanPilot Technology

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    Got it in one.
     
  14. spc

    spc Member

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    Texas politics really sucks and the self interest of the politicians is even worst with we the consumers paying the price.
    On the othe hand if there is a will there is a way and Tesla will get there.
    I wanted to buy a Tesla and i did just that, I yet to get my car (2 ore weeks)but so far I had a great experience, by far the best one from all car purchases I made in the past.
    For Tesla not been able to sell cars in Texas made no difference in my ability to get one and feel like i got what i wanted and to top it off i dont fell like i got the short end of the stick.
    go tesla.....
     
  15. evme

    evme Member

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    Is it just me or is the media coverage pretty terrible? I don't even mean the content, I mean the coverage of the event as a whole. I have seen far more coverage for other smaller states. It seems most of the media was either not aware or is not writing anything. Feels like the whole thing is being hushed.

    Oh and look at this interesting article:

    End Texas Tesla tyranny
     
  16. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    I wonder if it's a situation similar to here in Utah where a recent bill in the state legislature to allow Tesla to sell here was defeated. Seems after the "no" vote the politicians voting "no" received more flack from that than for any other vote. Like Texas most folks here are waaaaay to the right and really don't like government intrusion into private enterprise. So they were the ones complaining about the bill failing (along with me, one of Utah's token lefties). But all of the protests were ignored, I suspect, because of the ICE car dealerships having so much influence in the legislature.
     
  17. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Aren't there any opposition politicians in Texas willing to use this as a wedge issue to attack the incumbents? Or are they bought by the car dealers too?
     
  18. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    No, because this is an issue that almost no one cares about enough to swing their vote, and most haven't thought about it at all. People buy cars every 5 years or so. Dealers sell every day. It's a classic special interest issue where one side is much smaller but cares much more intensely.

    By the way it's not just Republican representatives in Texas that back the car dealers. The most aggressive questioner on the committee, the one who was practically testifying against the bill from the podium in asking his questions, was Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat from San Antonio who is vice-chair of the committee. Of course TADA donates to him too.
     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    > For Tesla not been able to sell cars in Texas made no difference in my ability to get one [spc]

    For balance what do you face for doing your annual Tesla inspection/service?
    --
     

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