It appears that the unlikely truce between Tesla Motors and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has finally come to an end — with the Alliance speaking out against what it considers to now be an unfair advantage given to the EV manufacturer.
Specifically, while the Alliance claims that it doesn’t have an issue with the concept of direct sales, it thinks that there should be limits placed on the number of such stores that can be opened and/or the number of vehicles sold in such a way.
The argument for these suggestions being that without such limits the company (or companies) practicing such direct sales possess an unfair advantage over others. Unfair advantage? That’s a bit of stretch considering that dealers have little incentive to push EV sales and would very likely marginalize the vehicles given the chance. There simply isn’t as much money to be made off of them (for the dealers) as with gas-powered vehicles.
Tesla recently gained a notable ally in this fight, though, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) coming out in favor of direct sales — and even urging the states of Missouri and New Jersey to rescind policies that would limit the ability of carmakers to sell direct.
Via the FTC’s “Competition Matters” blog, officials even stated: “Out of 15 million cars sold in the U.S. in 2013, Tesla accounted for a little over 22,000. This hardly presents a serious competitive threat to established dealers.”
And even better: “We hope lawmakers will recognize efforts by auto dealers and others to bar new sources of competition for what they are—expressions of a lack of confidence in the competitive process that can only make consumers worse off.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself. 🙂
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