Survey Results On “Should Tesla be allowed to sell cars directly in North Carolina?” A Touch Lop-Sided

4 years ago by Jay Cole 14

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina House of Representatives, North Carolina General Assembly

Tesla has been fighting a high profile battle in North Carolina against that state’s dealership association, who are looking to enact Bill 327, which just passed through the Senate (unanimously) last week, and now heads to the House of Representatives

The bill would not only block Tesla from selling directly to customers via boutique dealer stores and employees but would also block Tesla from soliciting or communicating to customers via the Internet…which would be a big blow to Tesla’s sales model if adopted North Carolina, then spread to other regions.

Now the Triangle Business Journal has sought the public’s opinion on the matter by asking:

“Should Tesla be allowed to sell cars directly in North Carolina?”

The response is far from the unanimous opposition put forth by North Carolina’s paid representatives.  As of press, an overwhelming 98% of voters were in favor of just leaving Tesla alone.

 

The General Public Seems To Disagree With Local And State Legislator's Recent Decisions On Tesla's Business Practices

The General Public Seems To Disagree With Local And State Legislator’s Recent Decisions On Tesla’s Business Practices

 

Triangle Business Journal

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14 responses to "Survey Results On “Should Tesla be allowed to sell cars directly in North Carolina?” A Touch Lop-Sided"

  1. Steve says:

    I wonder if they get campaign contributions from the state’s dealership association? Maybe that is who is really paying the “paid representatives.”

    1. James says:

      No, like the Texas Auto Dealer Association, they work the tax angle on
      the legislators. Auto dealers pay more sales tax and various other taxes
      to states than nearly any other business.

    2. Chris says:

      Tesla still has to pay sales taxes and employees Pay taxes same as a dealers would. This is simply a business model that is fighting in the legislature to ensure it’s continued survival rather than the supposed free market place. Now they are not alone in taking this tack other industries and business employ the same tactic and are by far too numerous to mention. What they are admitting is their model is outdated and would crumble if exposed to true market conditions.

  2. Nelson says:

    North Carolina politicians are trying to undermine our constitution. The Federal Government should not stand idle and take the matter to the Supreme Court.

    Is Tesla currently restricted from selling the Model S in North Carolina via the internet or boutique?
    If not, how many Tesla vehicles (Roadster & Model S) have been sold to North Carolina residents?
    In other word how much sales do they stand to lose (just in NC) if Bill 327 becomes a State law?

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Nelson,

      Tesla is currently doing business in North Carolina via the Internet and a service center around Raleigh (no boutique until thise gets sorted out).

      I can’t speak to Roadster sales, but in 2013 49 Model S sedans have been registered in NC, and about 80 overall. Tesla says they have about 60 pending in their system.

      1. Nelson says:

        Thanks Jay,

        60 Pending???
        If the Bill becomes a State Law and the matter is taken to the Supreme Court and they rule in favor of repeal, will the State have to compensate Tesla for loss of sales and opportunity costs?

        60 x $90,000 = $5,400,000
        Does the State have enough disposable money to cover this gamble?
        Guess the residents will pay higher State taxes if this comes to fruition.

        NPNS!
        Volt#671

        1. Jay Cole says:

          No problemo,

          As I understand it Tesla may be ‘skirted’ the edge of the law at the moment, and this bill is “clarifying” the state’s regulations.

          As for the 60 Tesla says they have pending, (as of a week or so ago) they are free to communicate now with those customers (and they have a deposit from them), so I imagine they have been informed of what is happening and how to still get their cars if/when this goes bad. I’d wager Tesla has moved all these sales (at least the ones they can fill) to the front of the line.

      2. MTN Ranger says:

        Yes, the Raleigh Tesla service center is down the street from my office. It makes me feel much better to buy than when the previous service center was 200+ miles away.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Ah, hit us with that local knowledge! Thanks MTN

  3. vdiv says:

    Two questions, is that 98% representative of the total NC voting population, and would this issue be sufficient for them to vote the incumbents out or at least change their mind?

    Unfortunately both answers are no.

    Telsa may have to bootleg Model S cars from Tennessee 😉

  4. MTN Ranger says:

    The bill is probably unconstitutional too. I’m guessing it will be contested early on if it is made into law.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddganos/2013/05/15/north-carolinas-threat-to-tesla-likely-unconstitutional/

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It probably is inconsititutional, but to contest it, is to open up a whole other can of worms, and a showdown with NADA. If they lose I’m sure they will, but it will be a long and not pretty proces.

      Much like real estate agents dealing with the reality of the Internet, dealership associations are facing a serious threat to their way of doing business if they open the door even a smidge.

      1. KenZ says:

        Not to take this off topic too much, but your mention of real estate agents is spot on. I can NOT believe ~10 (??) years ago Congress was investigating Microsoft as a monopoly to “protect the taxpayer” but doing nothing about the real estate lockup, which totally screws most people who buy houses. Title Insurance? Really? Ever read the fine print on that? If there IS a valid lien against your new home, but the paperwork was missing from the title folder in the records office, YOU’RE NOT COVERED. So title insurance at a cost of something like 1% of the home’s value is almost worthless. This stuff makes my blood boil. The real estate industry still needs some serious investigation but there are too many entrenched interests. Hopefully NADA will not fare so well.

  5. Steven says:

    I’m amazed that the same people who scream for fewer economic regulations, are often the same people who want their special interest groups protected.