NADA Chairman: Consumers Prefer Dealers Over Tesla Direct Sales
Jeff Carlson, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), said that consumers would rather purchase a vehicle through a franchised automotive dealer that can offer discounts, than through a direct sales retail set up, like that of Tesla. He believes that those hearing the lawsuits and making the policies, should be aware of what the customers want, and in his mind, the customers’ bottom line is the best price.
Carlson runs Ford and Subaru dealerships in Colorado. Of course, since he’s a dealer himself, and the chairman of NADA, he is compelled to follow this way of thinking. He said:
“They can continue to support the franchised dealers who discount up to $700 … or, the choice for the policymakers, they can offer the consumer a vertically integrated model that prices vehicles at retail. The public policymakers are going to go to the consumers and say, ‘Which one do you want, the discounted product or the product at retail?’ I think they’ll make the right decision.”
This all comes to the forefront as Tesla recently filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan. Tesla is prepared to challenge Michigan law that says that auto companies can’t sell their cars in the state, without using a franchised dealership.
Carlson explained that due to several dealers offering the same vehicles, new car prices must be competitively lower, for the each dealer to be successful. This adds up to hundreds of dollars in discounts, which benefit consumers.
He believes that it is in the hands of the consumers to stop companies like Tesla from moving in. If the buyers realize that they will no longer receive better prices, because of no middle man and lack of competition, Carlson believes that they will argue against Tesla’s plans. He added:
“Do you all want us to create a new market in the state of Michigan or do you tell your legislators that, ‘Yes, allow the manufacturers to have the Tesla model,’. I don’t think the consumer is going to support that.”
Source: Detroit News