Another speed bump for electric cars and new car companies

Here’s a column on the laws that hamper Tesla Motors in its efforts to sell electric cars in Texas because they don’t want to go through dealerships. The article makes a lot of sense, especially in these days of online stores and direct sales.

Let me know what you think. Are car dealerships necessary or just a throwback to a protectionist past?

Discuss this Blog Entry 11

Laurentien (not verified)
on Jun 27, 2013

I am against the idea that a government should enforce dealerships and this is even more suspicious when this comes from Texas. What if clients can get good service without dealerships ? Let them try to explain how this is achieved. I am for the liberal approach there. Let it be free, let the clients decide and sanction, if necessary even complain to Tesla. The dealership effort has prevented USA and Canada to have some good cars sold and we all know that it costs huge money to develop one. This fact overprotects the established brands and if government enforce this idea then this looks like protective conservatism. Who is bound to win then ? Not necessarily the client. In this case, we want Tesla to be selling cars since they are excellent (better then any other US made cars) and they are green (so much needed in this world getting destroyed by burning petrol).

ScottP (not verified)
on Jul 31, 2013

Is this a case of you having to protect the industry from itself? Forcing a car maker to have a "brick and mortar" dealer cuts down on the number of places the car maker can hide--the car dealership is available for customers to lodge complaints and get things fixed. Right now Tesla sells you a car online, the thing breaks, what do you do now? Call an 800 number routed to India? Sure, enough complaints, spread around the Net, the car company will be hurt. But an awful lot of consumers will be hurt badly (either financially since these cars are so expensive or if there is are safety issues) before anything has to be done by the car maker.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2013

No Dealership? Frankly I cannot think of a single sane person that would want to purchase a car without a dealership within a reasonable distance.

on Oct 29, 2013

If we give a deep vision towards our automobile sector we can realize that it is the time of adopting new technology. Our automobile sector is now so developed. We can found many branded car available in market having different features as per requirement of consumer.

Dealers are the media which enhance the sales market and ultimately help both the manufacture industries and the consumer. They are doing a good job. Volvo Mechanic University Park

Ohio car guy (not verified)
on Mar 12, 2014

Dealership or no dealership, let the consumer decide

Jaime Robledo (not verified)
on Mar 13, 2014

Personally, I can't stand going to car dealerships even to buy a car. There are many reasons. First and most obvious reason is that we go to look at vehicles and all of the sudden there is a flock of salesmen/women on you trying to sell you anything that is there. The next issue is that these people tend to be very uninformed about the product that they are peddling. To boot, someone who is not authorized to make a deal is trying to make a deal and then must go in and talk to their manager 5 times before the manager makes a magical appearance and makes you the offer of a lifetime, no lower than sticker price. I've yet to go to a dealership where this is not the norm. You simply don't get real "car guys" selling cars. You get people with mediocre people skills selling. Why in the world would anyone want a car dealership?

Well, even with everything bad that comes with it, you still need to sit in the car, play with the controls, test drive it. Although the internet is great, these are things that you cannot do over your computer connection. I will use a fine example. I always thought that the Chrysler 300 was a fabulous looking car. I had never driven one for 1000 miles. Turns out that the seats in this car and the control pedals don't seem to line up well for a person who is 6' tall. This may have been personal preference, but it was the most uncomfortable 1000 miles that I ever drove. If I simply rated the car on looks, it looks hot, unfortunately, for me, driving is important and I expect to feel comfortable. So, you can get this at a dealership or at least in a display shop where they allow you to test the car. Why else would you need a dealership?

With a car as new as a TESLA and with the little pricetag that it carries and the technological uncertainties, there better be a dealership where you can take it back for repairs when needed. You may find it very difficult to just press the maintenance button on your computer when the battery fails on the new TESLA. You most likely will not find to many independents who service the electric car at this time. So, why have a dealership?

Well, if you can't appreciate lousy service and over-priced parts as well as incompetant help, then the internet is right for you.

on May 9, 2014

Well it is very bad news for Tesla brand makers. Nowadays internet has been used by people rapidly. As we all know Tesla brand makers do not take dealerships from any one. They like to sell their cars by their own. Because of this tesla makers are facing problems in selling electric cars.
Electric cars are in huge demand now. Many brands are manufacturing their best eletric cars to stand number one position in the market. They are taking the help of new technique installation on their cars, and also by their advertisement in the internet. Because of this many people are aware about it and hence like to choose their own best brand and then purchase it. Even online shopping for cars are also now available, so these are the problems due to which Tesla is facing problems in selling electric cars.

on May 10, 2014

It is good and effective for our automobile sector. As we know electric car are friendly to our environment and coast effective, although electric cars are consider as dead in market. It will give a benchmark which give a new success to our automobile sector. After reading this blog our perception towards electric car definitely change. But taking care of these cars is essential.

on Jun 6, 2014

Car dealership is one of the most important part in sale of cars, a proper dealer not only gives the customer satisfaction about their queries and also has the power of convincing the customers to buy the product. Tesla does not have dealers and like to sell their cars by themselves. Now the technology has raised too high that people prefer to buy online or through dealers. Electric cars have become so famous nowadays that many brands are competing in market. So Tesla should authorize dealership so that customers find them convenient to buy the car. Also Tesla should provide the details of the service center where tesla cars can be serviced and repaired.

on Jul 2, 2015

It’s really not done. Dealership is really needed. I don’t think anyone would get interested to buy a car without any dealership. When we buy a car with dealership, there are lots of advantages we get which we cannot find in the alternate option. Giving a better service to the vehicle is the most important work to do.
Government should not set up such restriction suddenly. Thanks for sharing the info. Keep sharing.

on Apr 15, 2016

Though everything is getting done online but still some people are there believing the traditional process of buying a vehicle. I don't think, dealership should be vanished totally but the option should exist, then after it depends on people to decide whether to go for online or direct dealership. Visit for better Electric car related information.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's A Skeptical Engineer?

A questioning, sometimes humorous look at technologies, engineering, and the world.


Stephen Mraz

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from CWRU. Steve was a E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer in the U.S. Navy. He...
Blog Archive
Connect With Us

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×