Leaked Email From Tesla CEO Musk Calls for Rally Against Heinous Texas Auto Dealers


Tesla’s perfect 3-0 (previous wins here, here, and here) track record in convincing or coercing states in the US to allow the automaker to sell its vehicle through stores is on the line tomorrow in Texas.  But this one’s a doozy.   And Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk knows this battle will likely be the automaker’s most difficult.

Queue the leaked email (Forbes says it came from a source close to Tesla) from Musk, which calls for Tesla employees, fans and friends to rally against the Texas auto dealer association.  This email, in particular, called for the Tesla “troops” to come out last Tuesday to rally against Senate Bill 1659.  But tomorrow (April 9) is when Tesla will re-organize against House Bill (HB 3351) at 1:30 pm at the Texas State Capital.  As expected, Elon Musk will be testifying.

Elon Musk Tweets on Battle in Texas

Elon Musk Tweets on Battle in Texas

From: Elon Musk
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 11:56 AM
To: Everybody
Subject: Winning in Texas

Please email/call any Tesla fans or friends you know in Texas to rally tomorrow morning at 8am at Senate Building 1659 in Austin. We have got to move fast here. The Texas auto dealer association is trying to stop us from selling cars in the state and they have way more money and power than we do with legislators, so we need to rally the people pronto to stop them from winning.

It is crazy that Texas, which prides itself on individual freedom, has the most restrictive laws in the country protecting the big auto dealer groups from competition. If the people of Texas knew how bad this was, they would be up in arms, because they are getting ripped off by the auto dealers as a result (not saying they are all bad – there a few good ones, but many are extremely heinous). We just need to get the word out before these guys are able to pull a fast one on us

For everyone in Texas that ever got screwed by an auto dealer, this is your opportunity for payback.



Diarmuid O’Connell,  Tesla VP of business development, says operating in Texas is “expensive, time consuming…and just ridiculous.”  According to O’Connell, Tesla employees can’t participate in selling vehicles, nor can they provide pricing info on any Tesla products.  Furthermore, a Tesla Model S can’t be sold in the state.  Eager buyers must contact an out-of-state Tesla representative and arrange to pick up the vehicle themselves or to have it delivered using their own money.  Tesla cannot legally assist in this matter.  In Texas, Tesla can’t even perform warranty work on its vehicles, so owners must seek an out-of-state site for these fixes.

Tesla Motors Calls for Rallying Against Texas Auto Dealers via Facebook

Tesla Motors Calls for Rallying Against Texas Auto Dealers via Facebook

The Texas auto dealers association sees it differently:

“The best way for any manufacturer to retail their vehicles is through great  dealers.  They’re the  ones who know how to retail, who know how to satisfy the customers, and they’re  the ones who should be selling the product…To think you should have an exception because you have one electric vehicle is  arrogant.”

If you’re on Tesla’s side, then here’s what Tesla Motors urges you to do:

1. Take a look at the Senate and House Committee websites – if you or your friends are represented by a State Representative or Senator on this committee, feel free to contact their Capitol office and register your support: “I’m calling to register my support for SB 1659/HB 3351 – I want what’s fair. Texas dealers are preventing my car from being repaired efficiently and forcing money out of state.”

“I’m calling to register my support for SB 1659/HB 3351 – I believe in the free market!.”

2. Attend a hearing at the State Capitol (Bring your Tesla!) and register your support and/or seek an opportunity to testify in favor of the bill.

In the House, one of the many iPads attached to the Capitol walls can be used to check-in. With the iPad registration, you can register your support any time before the hearing (without ever stepping foot in the committee.)

Unless you wish to testify, you can fill out the card and leave. Those who wish to speak will have to wait until the bill comes up for discussion in accordance with the hearing schedule.

Will Tesla Motors go a perfect 4-0 after tomorrow’s House hearing in Texas?  Or is this one battle that even a leaked Elon Musk email, countless tweets and numerous Facebook posts will fail to muster up enough support for Tesla to walk away victorious?

via Forbes

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8 Comments on "Leaked Email From Tesla CEO Musk Calls for Rally Against Heinous Texas Auto Dealers"

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I don’t see anything wrong with his email. The United States was built on the principles of freedom. This is just giving people the right to choose.

Time to call out the hyperbole police. Eric. Seriously? “From: Elon Musk, To: EVERYBODY”. Uhm… don’t know that I would exactly call that a “leaked” email.

I wish Tesla the best. I’ll do what I can as a Texas resident. Middle men are one of the reasons vehicles are expensive. Forget having to buy from a dealer. Let’s just have auto delivery and repair shops.

Dealerships in general are evil. A dealership near my house allowed me to pre-order a vehicle, then changed the terms of the agreement under the auspices that the salesperson no longer worked there and they couldn’t find the paperwork. I gave them a bad review on the survey sent from the manufacturer. They called me up accusing me of trying to sabotage their dealership. I hung up on them. The following month, the dealership lost their “top dealership status”. Three months later, the dealership closed. I’m not sure if any of that is connected, but it sure made me feel good.

The Texas auto dealer’s point of view is astonishing.

It make me thing of the petrol dealers in Belgium that managed to have a law there that makes E85 bioethanol sales illegal.

I hope hundreds of supporters show up for Tesla. The Auto Dealers really need to learn that their personal profits are not more important than the entire rest of the population of Texas. Laws are supposed to benefit the largest number of people, not just a favored few.

Leaked email? Nothing from Tesla is leaked, or “accidentally” released. Tesla is a well organized marketing machine.

It is a double edged sword regarding franchise laws. They were put in place because car companies were swooping in and out of areas and leaving owners of their products in the lurch when problems arose. The idea was that local ownership of a franchise would force a company to provide after market service, and more importantly warranty service. In the most recent crisis, GM and Chrysler (in our area) were allowed to pull franchises from dealers because they were too small. Someone who owns a Chrysler product and needs warranty work now has to drive 80 miles. You basically take a day off work and hope the repair goes as planned. Sure the day to day maintenance can be handled by some of the local shops, but when you need the special tool, or expertise you are out of luck.

Do the laws need to be brought up to 2010’s versus 1930’s? Yes. Are the dealers afraid? Yes. But changing the rules to favor just Tesla, can have consequences down the road.

so dealerships are not evil?.. thanks for that refreshing observation, you have a point.

I do not know why this is an issue. I seriously doubt this car company will be here for very long. If you look at their owners forum, there are so many issues with this car and the charging stations. The owners are “Drone Like” and keep giving accolades to Tesla for customer service, even when the car isn’t fixed. Maybe these forums aren’t real customers??? Hmmmmm…

Although I applaud this guy for taking a risk on a good looking and well performing automobile, there is a reason that it will probably fail. That reason is economics. During the turn of the century in 1899/1900 there were about 5 times more electric cars than internal combustion engine cars. They (Electric cars) failed because of economics.

Recently the company came out with a leasing scheme that seems like a scam to me. Seems like the end is sooner, rather than later. I doubt they make it thru the year. Buyer Beware!!!