Electric car manufacturer, Tesla motors, who state ‘Zero Emissions. Zero Compromises’ for their current offerings of the Model S Saloon, Model X SUV and the sporty Roaster, are looking to be able to increase their market share and take control of their sales, by selling straight to the public. This however is proving to be less than easy due to the stranglehold that the auto dealerships have in many states in the U.S.
In Virginia there are laws stating that motor manufacturers are barred from directly owning dealerships. This baring of vertical integration is supposedly to promote competition between dealerships. I say supposedly as these law have been put in place by very active lobbyists working on behalf of the auto dealers in the state.
In the latest round of this fight (a fight that Tesla is fighting in numerous states), a fan of the company put forward a White House petition on behalf of the company in support of a change to legislation banning ownership of dealerships by manufacturers. The petitioner cites a comparable situation in another manufacturing sector. Apple Inc. is a manufacturer and sell through numerous dealerships, such as Best Buy Co. and AT&T Inc., but Apple Inc. also sells through their wholly owned Apple Store dealerships. They are not barred in any state from doing this.
It would seem that laws such as those in Virginia are out of date, as well as only having been put into law by those with a vested interest in them, and should now be changed.