Tesla’s had a bit of a hard time selling its cars directly in certain states, mostly owing to the existing powerful dealership lobbies. The company’s had an especially hard time getting into Texas, and the state’s governor just gave an incredibly stupid reason as to why.
Right now, if you want to buy a Tesla in Texas you can order one online, but you can’t buy it directly from a Tesla “store,” and you can’t go for a test drive. That’s ridiculous, and mostly due to the state’s already-existing dealerships, their interest in protecting their businesses in a manner contrary to free-market capitalism, and because they think you’re an idiot.
But not as big an idiot as Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Speaking to Bloomberg Radio yesterday, governor Greg Abbott distorted the truth and then established his own complete unfamiliarity with Tesla’s actual operations in his state, all in three sentences:
“Texas has a very robust, very open, very effective automobile sector that seems like it’s working quite well the way that it is,” Abbott told Bloomberg Radio on Tuesday. “If you’re going to have a breakdown in a car, you need to have a car dealership there to make sure that the vehicle is going to be taken care of. We haven’t seen that from Tesla.”
So let’s break that down. “Texas has a very robust [true], very open [false], and very effective [I don’t even know what that means] automobile sector that seems like it’s working quite well the way that it is [I guess?].”
Then putrid sludge started pouring from his mouth, and he seemed incapable of staunching the flow. “Something something breakdown argle bargle warble dealership. We haven’t seen that from Tesla,” he said.
But that verbal garbage isn’t remotely correct. You don’t need a traditional franchised dealership to get your car repaired. Tesla, in fact, has three service centers already open in Texas, with two more on the way, to help out owners in the Lone Star State who managed to get their hands on one of the all-electric cars.
And better yet, a dealership and service center that’s directly controlled by the company, in theory, may allow for better customer service with greater oversight from Tesla’s corporate headquarters. So there’s that.
In fact, Governor Abbott — in case you’re too busy taking campaign contributions from car dealers to know this — here’s a map of Texas with the service centers highlighted, just to help you out:
Let people buy Teslas in Texas. For Freedom, Free Markets, And Other Things That Are Free.
Photo credit: Jon Fingas