AutoNation, with its 266 dealerships across the US and 20,000 employees, could someday come to the aid of Tesla Motors if the startup automaker continues to have to battle against the dealership organizations in the US.
Tesla Store Map
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that Tesla has a "marvelous product" and that AutoNation would be "completely open" to selling Tesla vehicles.
"It's an excellent electric car. If you take the Fisker, which was a terrible car, the company is now bankrupt. You take Tesla, which is an outstanding car, and the company is really finding its way."
"Tesla has a direct model at the moment. But when they want to go to higher volumes, I think they're going to need a different retail model."
This in no way implies that Tesla would be open to selling its vehicle through AutoNation, but it seems that if Tesla does find itself in a hole (created by those archaic/monopolistic dealership laws), then AutoNation could be there to help out.
Currently, AutoNation sells vehicles from 32 different brands in 15 US states. AutoNation is unmatched in terms of US automotive sales, as there's simply no other retailer that comes close. Additionally, AutoNation is huge on using the Internet as a source for sales, much in the same way that Tesla does today.