Auto Dealers Complain That Tesla Stores Are Illegal... Despite Not Actually Selling Anything

from the stupid-regulations dept

Another day, another story of stupid protectionist regulations getting in the way of anyone trying to be innovative. This time, it's about Tesla, the well known electric car company based out here in California. Apparently, various states have set up ridiculous protectionist laws that say it's illegal for automakers to sell cars directly to consumers in retail settings. The various car dealer lobbyists who pushed to get those laws passed are now complaining that Tesla and its high end "stores" violate that law -- despite the fact that you can't actually buy a Tesla car in a Tesla store. In order to stay on the correct side of these idiotic laws, you can go into the stores and learn all about the Tesla... but if you want to buy, you have to go online and put money down via Tesla's website. The dealers are arguing that "anything that gets you to the executed contract is part of the sale," but that's ridiculous. A magazine ad. A TV commercial. Plenty of other things can "get you to the executed contract" and are perfectly reasonable.

What's really going on here is that states have passed these protectionist laws to help out independent dealerships who worried that car companies might decide to cut out one of the more annoying middlemen in the world and go direct to consumers. So they passed these laws which serve no purpose, whatsoever, other than to encourage greater annoyance and overhead for car buyers. Just the fact that you can't actually buy a Tesla at a store should highlight how silly this -- but the fact that these dealers are still complaining and arguing that the company violates the law shows just how petty they can be.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    "ust the fact that you can't actually buy a Tesla at a store should highlight how silly this -- but the fact that these dealers are still complaining and arguing that the company violates the law shows just how petty they can be."

    Hey, copyright lovers...how about I rework that sentence a little?

    "Just the fact that Youtube goes above and beyond the law in regards to punishing accused copyright infringers and spends millions on developing ContentID should highlight how silliy this is -- but the fact that legacy copyright loving businesses like Viacom are still complaining and arguing that Youtube violates the law shows just how petty they can be"

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Here's a great article from the Washington Post about these ridiculous laws from way back to 2009.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    You know, it's amazing how much time you an many others spend pointing out the flaws of capitalist practice without ever grasping the overarching truth that it's inherently a plutocracy striving to impose economic tyranny in every way possible. "Capitalism", whatever it is and however you want to define, is just a current and utterly malleable form in which the power mad try to get total control. You're just told, as were the people in Soviet Russia, that you're living free, and the people in power have your best interests at heart.

    What you all actually mean and want is economic freedom, but if we let "capitalists" or ANY other ruling class run wild, it's definite that we won't end up free. And we're clearly less free every day, that's basically all that Mike does, relate how "capitalists" are trying to get total control of whatever niche they can.

     

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  4.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    BLAAARRRGHGHGHGL

    Law! Pirate Mike! Law! It's the Law! ARGLRLRGHLRBL!! LAW!

    /averje_goe

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    And by "capitalists" you mean ''not capitalists''

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Shit dude, I was going to make a pithy comment about the death of the car dealership not coming fast enough, but your insane rant seems to have killed this thread, dead. Top notch, 10/10 troll points!

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    I'm with the other guy. Your comment killed the thread. Also, not a single word of what you wrote has any relevance at all to the article. Congratulations, you've replaced bob as "person who cannot write a comment that even remotely, REMOTELY, deals with the topic at hand".

    Way to go, OotB.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    I have to agree with this one.

     

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  9.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Restaurant at the end of the Universe

    For some reason this article reminded me of a section of a book, where a couple guys end up on a ship with 1/3 of a planet's population. The ship is full of all of the worthless people from the planet. All of the middle men, the lawyers, and tons of other pointless service staff that don't really serve that much of a purpose other than to justify their own existence. This ship was told that all of the scientists and the great minds would be on a ship behind them, and all of the great leaders and people who actually make sure things run well would be on the ship in front of them. For security purposes or through a glitch, this ship for some reason can't talk to the other two after liftoff, and the ship is on a predetermined course that cannot be altered by anyone on the ship.

    ... .... Sometimes I think it would be great if we could do something like that and get rid of about 1/3 of the population here on a ship just launched out into space. You know, since a great plague is coming to the planet and will wipe it out in 10 years. Or was that an asteroid?

     

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  10.  
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    LivingInNavarre (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    I have economic freedom. I just take my money elsewhere. Capitalistic Sony rootkitted my computer 10+ years ago. I've never bought another Sony product again after that.

     

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  11.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Replace "capitalists" with "mercantilists" and that last sentence makes a ton of sense.

     

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  12.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Government interference in the market IS the invisible hand, moron.

     

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  13.  
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    Cory of PC (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Can I ask you something: how much of that is in English?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    I hate automotive dealerships. I would buy a Tesla just to avoid that hassle.

     

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  15.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    "Congratulations, you've replaced bob as "person who cannot write a comment that even remotely, REMOTELY, deals with the topic at hand""

    I'm pretty sure they are one in the same. I do miss the old OotBs // after /nearly/ /every/ /word/.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re:

    I hate automotive dealerships. I would buy a Tesla just to avoid that hassle.

    If you've got a hundred grand to spend on a car, you can probably afford to send someone out to buy a car for you anywhere.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    but the ones that are really to blame, yet again, are the good old politicians. you know the ones i mean. those that are doing their best for the people that voted them into office. or should i say the ones that are doing their best for whoever is giving the most 'encouragement' to them. these 'dealers' are no different to the entertainment industries. they dont want to compete, they dont want anyone else to do what they are doing in a better way, they just want someone to give them the monopoly on selling cars, any car at all!

     

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  18.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Auto Dealers = RIAA

    What's really going on here is that states have passed these protectionist laws to help out independent dealerships who worried that car companies might decide to cut out one of the more annoying middlemen in the world and go direct to consumers.


    You mean to say that the auto dealers are the RIAA/MPAA of the automobile industry(AIAA)? If they are, they're definitly going down the correct path. Now we just need to figure out how to pirate cars!!!

     

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  19.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    At least the "capitalists" in power were voted there. By the people. With their dollars.

    Capitalism is the closest thing you're going to get to democracy. Politics just puts a new head on a huge monolithic state. If everyone decides Apple sucks, Apple goes under. It doesn't just change its name and keep operating with a new CEO.

    Personally, I say starve governments and let corporations battle it out. I'd rather be a slave to a corporation that makes something useful than slave to an idiot bureaucrat whose job is to self-replicate and make things more complicated.

     

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  20.  
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    James T, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Auto Dealers = RIAA

    Don't worry soon Tesla Motors will soon be promising a software upgrade. I can see it now a black market car jailbreaking ring. Then the owners will be cool pirates (criminals) and take down the AIAA.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 10th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Capitalism is the closest thing you're going to get to democracy.


    This is 100% wrong. Capitalism is corrosive to democracy, because it embodies an inherent power inequality. Your effect on it is proportional to how rich you are. Since it is mathematically impossible for everyone (or even more than a small percentage of people) to be rich enough to matter, if capitalism is used as a for of governance then tyranny is guaranteed.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    The fact that you DID ask shows that you can indeed ask. So you answered the first part of your own question.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    What Tesla is doing is trying to sidestep the law by putting a little asterix on what their "non-stores" do. Clearly, the stores are part of the process of selling cars, even if they do not specifically take the sale right there. Information is part of the process of selling a car. You don't walk into a car dealership and look at the guy blankly and say "yes, I buy that car now". You ask questions, you get information, you take a test drive... you know, the sales process.

    Tesla is attempting to get around a law that creates a level playing field. That's not innovative, that's just being dishonest. No wonder they are popular with the Techdirt crowd.

     

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  24.  
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    btr1701, Oct 10th, 2012 @ 9:17pm

    Re:

    > Information is part of the process of selling a car.

    So you're saying that Ford violates these laws by running ads on TV that provide information about their vehicles?

     

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  25.  
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    PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:32am

    Re:

    So, Ford don't have a website where you can get information and buy the car without ever visiting an independent dealer? Hmmm...

    "You don't walk into a car dealership and look at the guy blankly and say "yes, I buy that car now". You ask questions, you get information, you take a test drive... you know, the sales process."

    Or, you know salesmen are full of shit by their job description, you won't be buying the car that's in the lot so you research online and get a feel for the car of the same model your friend has, or you're loyal to the brand and just upgrade to the newest model when the warranty runs out on the one you already own. You might be the kind of simple minded fool who lets a salesman convince him to buy whatever model that day's commission tell him to push, but others aren't.

    Typically, you ignore all possibilities in favour of your own preferred narrative.

    "being dishonest"

    Well, you *are* the expert...

     

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  26.  
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    Transgeek, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:23am

    RE: Tesla Stores

    The best analogous situation is with direct delivery of Wine to consumers from Wineries, bypassing state alcoholic beverage protection regimes. The Supreme Court struck down those laws. The court will strike down these laws with the similar reasoning.

    http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/US-Supreme-Court-Overturns-Wine-Shippi ng-Bans_2543

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:34am

    Re: Restaurant at the end of the Universe

    It's worth noting that in the book, the worthless portion of the population jettisoned in Ark Fleet Ship B were our ancestors. They became modern humans, displacing the Neanderthals. Their (our) arrival on Earth was what screwed up the processing of the Ultimate Answer.

    The two thirds who remained had told the middlemen that the planet was going to be eaten by a giant space goat and leaving was the only option. Those who remained on their home planet were all killed because of a disease which was contracted when their telephones were no longer sanitized. Then the planet itself was eaten by a giant space goat.

    So, your last question, plague or asteroid? It's a giant space goat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Restaurant at the end of the Universe

    There are the specifics I could not remember (space goat). I was curious if it was worth mentioning the part where they became out ancestors or not and figured it wasn't as much relevant to my overall thought. I also remembered the part where they all died from disease, but figured we wouldn't quite end up that way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Jim Taggert, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    Who is John Galt?

     

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  30.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    He's a dickwad who figures into a shallow piece of adolescent fantasy that is commonly used in a feeble attempt to legitimize immoral, narcissistic, and borderline sociopathic behavior.

     

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  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    You don't walk into a car dealership and look at the guy blankly and say "yes, I buy that car now".


    Speak for yourself. This is exactly what I do. I do my research beforehand and I know exactly what I want to buy. I stroll onto the lot, point to the car, and say "I'll buy that."

    I do this specifically to minimize the amount of interaction I have with car salesmen. The worst place in the world to get information about a car is from the person who'd trying to sell it to you.

     

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  32.  
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    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    This. Capitalism is no more related to democracy than communism is. And you can make the same argument in favor of democratic communism - If everybody is equal everybody will be equal.

    Just because capitalism was embraced by libertarians and communism was embraced by totalitarians doesn't mean those economic forms HAVE to be associated with those government forms.

    The 1930s version of National Socialism was intensely capitalistic, for instance.

     

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  33.  
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    Bergman (profile), Oct 12th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re:

    There's cheaper ways to have an electric car.

    I recall reading about a guy a few years back who took the engine, transmission and fuel tank out of a Ford LTD and replaced them with an electric motor in each wheel well, with the trunk and former engine compartment filled with standard lead-acid automotive batteries.

    It supposedly got something like 120 miles on a charge, with a maximum speed of 70mph.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Not "stupid protectionist regulations": cartel or crony capitalism.

    If democracy is used as Government, tyranny IS guaranteed, Period.

     

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  35.  
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    James Russell, Oct 24th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Tesla Stores

    Bet all those dealers against Tesla stores are Republicans who love to spew about government interference and free markets and open competition.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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