Published on June 28th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


Petition To Protect Tesla Motors From Distribution Ban Started

June 28th, 2013 by  

Originally posted on Gas 2.0.

A petition has been started on the website to allow Tesla Motors to sell its own cars directly to its customers in all 50 states of the USA. If you think Tesla should be able to sell its cars directly to customers, you should sign this petition.

Tesla Model X - Obtained from Tesla Motors Pressroom.

Tesla Model X. Obtained from Tesla Motors Pressroom.

As the petition said: “State legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition.” Another way to put it; various automobile dealer associations have been trying to get state officials to ban automobile manufacturers from selling their own cars directly to customers. They want Tesla to lock into dealership franchises, protecting a dealership racket that has existed for decades.

The associations include:

  • VADA: Virginia Automobile Dealers Association;
  • MSADA: Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association;
  • MADA: Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association;
  • NCADA: North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association;
  • NYSADA: New York State Automobile Dealers Association.

These organizations have huge pull on state legislatures. As the MSADA website said: “Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association represents the interests of 465 franchised auto and truck dealers.” That equates to thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual business.

These laws were originally established to prevent automakers from coming into a market and selling cars to customers at a lower cost, undercutting established dealerships. The auto industry is one of the only industries where the producers have to sell their products through a third part (dealerships). However, since Tesla has no established dealership franchises, they aren’t stepping on anyone’s toes.

But dealership associations feel threatened, and have already managed to keep Tesla out of Texas and Virginia. That is why this petition seeks to keep these proposals preventing Tesla from selling their electric cars from going into law. If the dealers keep pushing, the Feds might step in, and the whole house of cards might come falling down. So sign that petition, won’t you?


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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Nealicus

    I just read a great article by an investor on an investing specific site that said that while many people may think that Obama can’t and wouldn’t do anything about this, it is important to keep in mind that he did just give a nearly 1 hr press conference on climate change and things that his administration can do to show that they are serious about this issue. Considering that Tesla repaid their loan and can be the poster child of government aided innovation in clean tech combined with Obama’s recent “get tough” on climate change initiative, a strong response or some pulled strings may not be out of the realm of possibilities.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Getting PBO involved in giving Tesla the ability to sell their cars in Texas and other red states could be counter productive. The people running some of those states hate PBO with a white hot heat.

      • Nealicus

        Perhaps not, but that brings up another interesting point. What red states hate a made in America product, that uses locally generated energy, and all its asking for is the free market economy to do its thing, without Government getting in the way and blocking it out to show preference. Sounds kinda backwards for a red state to oppose this, no?

  • agelbert

    I just signed.

  • Others

    When Apple can sell directly, why not Tesla.

    After all Tesla’s product is 100% American made and also runs on Electricity which is 100% American made.

  • Wayne Williamson

    to the commenters below…I signed anyway….

  • James

    As much as I would like to see Tesla be able to sell their products in every state, I don’t see how a federal petition is the answer. Are you suggesting that a federal law should be enacted that would override any state laws on the requirements for auto dealerships? I.e. why do you believe this is a federal issue and not a state issue? It doesn’t look that way to me.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Interstate commerce?

      “Interstate commerce n. commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the federal government according to powers spelled out in Article I of the Constitution. The federal government can also regulate commerce within a state when it may impact interstate movement of goods and services, and may strike down state actions which are barriers to such movement under Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision in Gibbons v. Ogden (1824). Theoretically commerce is regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission (I.C.C.) under authority granted by the Interstate Commerce Act, first enacted by Congress in 1887. This authority has been diffused among various federal agencies, and the I.C.C. may soon be history.

      If it’s in the Constitution then it shouldn’t be necessary to write a law.

      • James

        So the President should be able to step in and say, “Hey… knock this shit off!”

        Somehow it doesn’t seem likely to me.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Doesn’t work that way.

          Tesla would have to go to court and sue the states.

      • James

        I signed the petition anyhow. Don’t see how it could hurt.

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