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 8

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).

on Jul 4, 2013

Car dealership is one of the important or we can say the most important service for the sales of cars. It is very necessary in case of the car dealers to go through the guidelines and follows proper steps. Electric cars are very much popular these days in the automobile industry. People using electric cars in place of fuel cars now a day. Car repair and car charging also now becoming easier in case of the electric cars. Charging stations are available in cities in several places.

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 Apr 16, 2014

I don't know what makes government to take such steps? Aren't they supposed to work for common people. We all know that these electric cars are very much needed for the future generation that is the only way to reduce the pollution as well as save the world from the lack of fuel. I hope government will understand the situation and will try to favor such companies they to make obstacles for them.

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Stephen Mraz

Steve serves as Senior Editor of Machine Design.  He has 23 years of service and has a B.S. Biomedical Engineering from Steve was a Flight officer in the U.S. Navy. He is currently responsible...
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