In an unprecedented movie, three officials for the Federal Trade Commission penned an open letter sharply criticizing anti-Tesla legislation in several states. While the opinions expressed are their own, and not that of the FTC, it puts additional pressure on dealership lobbyists looking to prevent Tesla’s direct sales model from spreading.
Published on the FTC’s “Competition Matters” blog, Andy Gavil, Debbie Feinstein, and Marty Gaynor co-authored this open letter which scathingly calls out dealership lobbyists for defending protectionist laws in places like New Jersey. The whole thing is well worth reading, though I picked out some choice quotes that put the ridiculousness of the dealer lobbyists’ efforts in perspective.
“Out of 15 million cars sold in the U.S. in 2013, Tesla accounted for a little over 22,000. This hardly presents a serious competitive threat to established dealers.”
But wait, there’s more!
“Dealers contend that it is important for regulators to prevent abuses of local dealers. This rationale appears unsupported, however, with respect to blanket prohibitions of direct sales by manufacturers. And, in any event, it has no relevance to companies like Tesla. It has never had any independent dealers and reportedly does not want them.”
And most damning of all…
“We hope lawmakers will recognize efforts by auto dealers and others to bar new sources of competition for what they are—expressions of a lack of confidence in the competitive process that can only make consumers worse off.”
Yup, that pretty much sums it up.
Source: FTC Competition Matters