Car Dealers Attack Tesla's 'Illegal' Apple Store Ripoffs

Illustration for article titled Car Dealers Attack Teslas Illegal Apple Store Ripoffs

Dealers across the country, perhaps afraid money-losing Tesla is somehow a threat, are trying to get the company's stores knocked down as illegally operating outside the cartel-like, protectionist franchise system they helped put in place.

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They may have a point, Tesla's stores could be illegal factory operations under many state laws, but these are stupid laws and Tesla isn't wrong for trying to get around them.

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This is an issue that comes up occasionally, most recently when Chrysler was forced by its own dealers to sell a factory-owned store in Los Angeles. The argument dealers make (after years of political donations got them cushy deals) is that stores owned by the company that builds the car provides unfair competition.

Obviously, dealers are pillars of moral fortitude and sound business practices and a factory-owned store would hurt the immense positive feelings most people have towards the car-buying experience.

Even though Tesla dealerships are more like less-fun versions of the Apple store, car dealer associates in various states are attacking them as illegal. To get around this, Tesla may not even take reservations at stores but instead direct customers to a website.

The one argument the dealers make that isn't to protect their own shitty setup is the dealerships setup in malls can't provide meaningful service. Absolutely true, and you may need the service.

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Our favorite quote on the subject comes from National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman Bill Underriner, who tells Automotive News:

"Tesla may not yet recognize the value of the independent franchise dealer system, but as its sales increase, NADA is confident it will reexamine its business model." Here comes the kicker "Other companies such as Daewoo did."

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Well then, maybe Tesla will learn from Daewoo. Great example.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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DISCUSSION

JamesBob-TX
JamesBob-TX

Good lord, did a dealership go all "A Time to Kill" on your only sister? Has one staged a "Red Dawn" type invasion on your hometown and mutilated everyone's childhood pets? I understand buying your first K-car was a shitty experience, it was for a lot of people, but many modern dealerships are still family owned by people that live in your community. I hate getting sodomized by heartless corporations as much as the next guy, I mean lets be honest NO ONE wants to drop the soap in a Carmax lobby, but many of these folks genuinely care about you and about the cars they sell. I own a medium sized car-lot with no franchise aspirations but knowing a few of the dealership owners in my area I can tell you very few of them hide in the closets of toddlers only the frighten them in the night. Let us speak in un-hushed tones, Tesla doesn't have to do things the normal way because they don't have to make money. I agree that we should let Tesla try it and see what happens with the new dealership model...that said the burden of many dealerships is the cost associated with a service network required of a new car store so why should Tesla get off the hook...I'm just saying...their shit catches fire and burns down just like any given Focus to Ferrari.