You would think that states would welcome a new car company and the jobs it brings with open arms. But well-established car dealership lobbying groups have been fighting to keep Tesla’s direct sales model out of their states, including Texas. But one former Texas car dealer took to the pages of his local newspaper to argue that Tesla should be allowed to sell their cars directly to customers.
Texas Sterling McCall (seriously) wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle making a logical argument for maintaining the current laws, while allowing an exception for Tesla. For one, says Sterling, almost everyone wants this.
“Ninety-nine percent of respondents to a Los Angeles Times online poll said that Tesla ought to be allowed to conduct direct sales of its cars. Right here in Texas, 87 percent of respondents in an Austin Business Journal online poll agree, too.”
Another thing to consider is that Texas bills itself as “open for business”, and yet they are keeping a company that could pump as much as $12 million into the local economy in the first year alone out with these laws. Originally, these laws were intended to keep major manufacturers from competing directly with established franchises.
But since there are no established Tesla franchise dealerships, Tesla wouldn’t be unfairly competing against its own dealers. Elon Musk has also discussed the possibility of one day opening a Tesla factory in Texas, though I’m sure that would take some concessions on the part of the Texas legislature.
With Sterling McCall and most of the public in his corner though, it looks more and more like Elon Musk will get his way, at least in Texas. In Virginia though, Tesla’s efforts were stopped short, though both Massachusetts and Minnesota have approved Tesla for direct sales to customers. Will Texas be the tipping for, or against this new car sales model?