It looks like Elon Musk has just picked up a new ally in his fight against car dealer-backed legislation to sell his Teslas direct to the customer: fellow space entrepreneur and occasional lady flight attendant Richard Branson.
Branson, the thrill-seeking mogul behind the Virgin business empire, authored a post today on Virgin's website advocating for Tesla to be able to sell their cars directly to their customers in all 50 states.
It's short, but here's the important part:
This is certainly a complex issue. Whilst nobody wants to undermine peoples livelihoods, if we are to conduct our businesses and industries in ways that profitably help people and the planet some things will have to change.
In this instance, I think that, by shaking up the United States automaker industry, Tesla are doing a very good thing, and I would greatly encourage you to sign this White House petition(organised by the public) to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states.
As we've reported previously, Tesla has been in fights with legislatures in Texas, New York, North Carolina and other states who seek to ban — if they do not do so already — sales of cars that do not go through dealership channels. Dealers feel threatened by Tesla's model, so they seek to use their considerable influence and money to thwart them.
Who knows if Branson's endorsement will change things or not, but it is nice to see one crazy wealthy business maverick sticking up for another. We'll have to see if anything comes of it.
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