Politicians, Car Dealers Trying To Make It Illegal To Buy A Tesla In North Carolina

from the hating-on-disruptive-innovation dept

Last fall, we wrote about how auto dealers were bitching about the fact that electric car company Tesla sells their cars directly. It has "stores" but you can't buy your cars from those stores, due to antiquated and ridiculous regulations about car sales. Most states have laws that basically say that car companies can't sell directly. These laws serve no purpose other than to protect (often politically powerful) independent car dealers from being disintermediated.

In North Carolina, however, they're taking it up a notch. They're basically trying to make it illegal to sell a Tesla in North Carolina at all. About 80 North Carolina residents have already bought one, but they may be the last:
A legislative proposal, backed by the N.C. Automobile Dealers Association, would make it illegal for Tesla, or any other car maker, to bypass dealerships and sell directly in the state. The proposal cuts at the heart of Tesla’s business model: selling luxury cars over the phone or Internet and then delivering them to the front door of high-net-worth customers.
The North Carolina State Commerce Committee approved the proposal unanimously.

This is the same thing we see over and over again in other contexts. Companies in an entrenched legacy position trying to use regulations to block disruptive upstarts. There is no good reason for this law other than to block Tesla and to prop up dealerships. It's somewhat disgusting to see politicians actively seek to stamp out innovation.

Filed Under: dealers, north carolina, regulations, tesla
Companies: tesla


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  1. icon
    btr1701 (profile), 15 May 2013 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Dirtect Sales Legal Issues

    > Sales taxes in NC are paid upon getting a
    > title for the car, so that's never avoided.

    Not only is not avoided, sometimes it's double-dipped.

    I bought a new 4Runner in Texas. Five years later, I moved to Virginia. When I took it to get registered at the Virginia DMV, they wanted me to pay sales tax on the car as if I'd bought it in Virginia. I told them I already paid sales tax on it when I bought it in Texas. They told me that didn't matter, that if I wanted to register it in Virginia, I had to pay the sales tax again to them. I threw a fit because this was a significant amount of money, and once the supervisor came out of the back, and it was obvious to her I was both an attorney and not willing to be screwed, the tax was suddenly 'waived'. I have a feeling they know they have a good scam going and don't want someone who knows the law to ruin it for them, so they waive it for anyone who looks like they might be trouble.

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