A great read for anyone wanting to come up to speed on the whole Tesla drama:
To protect themselves, car dealers formed associations. Laws were enacted, and it’s those laws — meant to protect car dealers — that are interfering with Tesla’s ability to sell cars directly to consumers. Here’s the logic of the argument against Tesla: If Tesla can sell cars directly to consumers, what stops the rest of the car industry from doing that? That is the heart of this, so let’s be totally clear:
The entire argument against Tesla selling cars directly to consumers is that car dealers might have to face competition from the companies they currently represent.
That’s it. It’s not really about Tesla, or electric cars. It’s about money. It’s an argument against competition that may or may not even manifest in reality.
I don’t think these are completely empty fears. If companies did sell cars direct to consumers I bet the experience would be significantly better. The companies would be more directly accountable for customer service than they are now.
If I were a dealer I would be worried about this happening too - especially if Tesla shows the model can be successful. Imagine customer service from a Toyota Direct store than was on par with Toyota quality… now that would be a force to be reckoned with.
Full disclosure: I bought a new Toyota Camry once (long ago). My experience was awful, my sales person was actually fired during the process, and I had to argue with the sales manager on which options were available for the car I was buying. I was right, he was wrong.