Missouri Puts Anti Tesla Direct Sales Ban On Hold


Tesla's Company Owned Dealer Model Came Under Sneak Attack Again - This Time In Missouri

Tesla’s Company Owned Dealer Model Came Under Sneak Attack Again – This Time In Missouri

Typical Tesla Store

Typical Tesla Store

Just over one week ago, Tesla Motors issued a statement on a sneak attack underway in the state of Missouri.  The sneak attack was again an attempt to ban Tesla’s direct sales model at the last minute without allowing public comment or providing Tesla with time to work up a defense.

Now, Tesla is thrilled to let the world know that Missouri’s sneak attack is dead in the water.

As Automotive News reports:

“The fate of Tesla Motors Inc.’s retail strategy in Missouri is on hold after state legislators scrapped a vote on a bill that would have prevented the company from selling directly to consumers.”

“Timothy Jones, speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the legislation would be reintroduced next year with full hearings in the state Senate and House.”

And that’s a win for Tesla, at least for now.

On May 7, when Missouri’s state senate initially passed the legislation, Tesla Motors immediately fired out a statement, part of which reads as follows:

“This change is not an innocent, minor amendment. It is completely unrelated to the original bill, which was about laws regarding all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility vehicles. It is also a complete 180 from what the original bill proposed. The current statute only bars franchisors from competing against their franchisees (for example, Ford cannot compete against Ford dealerships).”

“Tesla complies with that statute because we do not compete with any franchise. Just as we saw in New Jersey, however, this bill amendment expands the scope of existing regulations well beyond their original intent. They are attempting to do so in part by redefining the word “franchisor” to mean “manufacturer”, a pirouette of which the legislators may not even be aware. To be clear: this is worse than a mere case of dealers trying to protect an existing monopoly – this is a case of dealers trying to create a monopoly.”

Tesla credits owners of Teslas and other electric vehicles for this win, saying that EV advocates protested the proposed legislation by showing up in force at the state capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Of course, Tesla representatives did their part too by meeting with “John Diehl, the Missouri House majority leader and Doug Smith, president of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, on Tuesday to discuss the bill,” according to Automotive News.

Tesla Owners At State Capitol in Jefferson City

Tesla Owners At State Capitol in Jefferson City

Source: Automotive News


Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "Missouri Puts Anti Tesla Direct Sales Ban On Hold"

newest oldest most voted

Legislators should never lose sight of their duty to protect the rights of the many against the demands of a few.


Probably hard to see with all those $$ in their eyes.

This is similar to what is playing out all over the country. The Auto Dealer Associations are trying to sneak in changes that prevent the direct sales model. While only Tesla is in the cross-hairs on this one for now it’s a major battle ground for dealers.

Internet sales of cars changes the experience. You can actually order exactly the car you want. All in a few mouse clicks. You don’t have to settle for what’s on the lot and overpay for features you don’t need or want. Dealer add ons like “pin striping” that are pure profit (ie, a rip off) go away. No more high pressure 2-3 hours sessions where you sit and wait for some mystery sales manager to approve or disapprove the latest numbers.

Tesla is fighting for so much more than just online sales.

Factory owned dealers (i.e. Tesla stores) allow Tesla to enforce uniform pricing (which completely eliminates haggling), allows them to use general profits to open a money-losing store in a new territory, lets them control the sales message, etc.

It’s disgusting that politicians so openly side with money.

I believe traditional dealerships played a role in the struggles of automakers. Even in its dying years, Pontiac dealers had a huge $10K markup on the Solstice. Just last week, when I was at a Nissan dealership, I saw several NISSAN (not Infinity) models with pricey markups. Even getting dealers to pass along MANUFACTURER’S discounts to customers involve a lot of haggling.

Just read in this very site the pain GM has to go through to get dealers to push the Cadillac ELR. Tesla was right – EVs represent a conflict of interest to traditional dealers. A pure EV-only dealer would have screwed Tesla over by adding $10K markups or more.

Auto dealers are dinosaurs. I have bought many cars and I hate going to the dealership. Getting a price and then even signing the paperwork with the Finance guy (who may try to sell you add-on crap) are not fun things to do.

Even though a dealer agreed not to charge me for the pin-stripping once I insisted they remove them before sale to make a point that I wanted to buy a car as advertised by the manufacturer.

I’ve done the same thing, as well as saying I don’t want the “fabric protection”, because neither food nor animals would ever be inside the passenger cabin.

that resla tho….