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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla 342

cartechboy writes "It feels like this story is becoming repetitive: X state is trying to ban Tesla stores, or the ability for an automaker to sell directly to a consumer. Either way, it's all aimed at Tesla. Now it's New Jersey's turn as a hearing today could end up banning Tesla stores in the state. Naturally Tesla's displeased with this and is crying foul. A rule change that is expected to be approved today would require all new-car dealers to provide a franchise agreement in order to receive a license from the state. Obviously Tesla (the manufacturer) can't provide a franchise agreement to itself (the distributor). The proposed rule would also require dealers to maintain a 1,000 square foot facility, the ability to show two cars, and service customer cars on site. Tesla doesn't meet that last requirement at any of its galleries, and most of the Tesla stores are located in shopping malls which mean they are smaller than 1,000 square feet. Tesla's arguing the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is overstepping its bounds. Will Tesla be able to defeat this new rule in New Jersey as it has overcome issues in many other states?" (Also covered by the Wall Street Journal.)
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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

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  • Feds... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @06:43PM (#46458813)
    Here's a perfect example of why the federal Constitution has an interstate commerce clause. States are interfering with interstate commerce to protect local businesses. Time for some federal legislation to shut this down.
  • Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tanktalus ( 794810 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @06:48PM (#46458853) Journal

    The right wing should be opposed on free-market principles. The left wing should be opposed on environmental grounds. So which politicians should be in favour of this regulation again?

  • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @06:49PM (#46458867)

    The right wing should be opposed on free-market principles. The left wing should be opposed on environmental grounds. So which politicians should be in favour of this regulation again?

    The pragmatists & cynics who need local, wealthy donors to bankroll their campaigns.

  • hehe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @06:51PM (#46458881)
    If you can't beat 'em, ban em.

    Since we are constantly regaled how awful the Tesla is. - They all burn up, they are stupid, They are too expensive, I can't drive the Trans American Highway in one, electric cars suck - why don't we just let the free market do what it always does, eliminates bad products.

    I'm pretty sure at other times, car dealership owners are all about the free market, competition, and the heartbeat of America.

  • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:05PM (#46459005) Homepage

    Free market principles? How about plain old freedom?

    How about the enlightenment principle that government can't simply make up whatever laws it wants. There is no such thing as liberty if a local dictator can tell you what lightbulb to make or how to sell cars.

    Why not force the regular car dealers to also bundle horse buggy whips with all car purchases to protect the horse-buggy-whip establishment.

    This is another uber ridesharing story with different players. North Korea only has one dictator at a time. In the US we have thousands, spread across 4+ levels of government.

  • Re:Don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:23PM (#46459133) Journal
    Common mistake. You have been used to the "truth in labeling law" "truth in advertising law" etc for so long, you have assumed it applies to everyone. Sorry my dear friend, the politicians are exempted from those laws. They can label themselves "free market loving libertarian right wingers" or "mother earth worshiping tree hugging beer-can-recycling post-cosumer-waste-reconsuming environment loving left wingers". But there is absolutely no guarantee the politician you find under those labels are truly what the label says.
  • Re:Feds... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:24PM (#46459145)

    Interstate commerce means any work involving or related to the movement of persons or things across state lines. If you make a car in CA and take it to NJ, that's clearly interstate commerce, and the Federal Government is granted constitutional authority to regulate it. Maybe you are confused about what it means?

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:34PM (#46459233)

    Since when does the quality of customer service become the purview of law? There are no dishonest dealings going on. Customers enter into these purchases fully aware of the requirements of ownership. No one expects Walmart to provide a service center for the electronics they sell, nor a seamstress for their clothing.

    This is protectionism and corrupt politics as can only be done at the local level pure and simple.

  • Re:Feds... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:49PM (#46459391) Homepage

    I'm pretty sure he meant to say "the interstate" rather than "in their state." What on earth did you think he meant to say?

  • by mojo-raisin ( 223411 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:54PM (#46459429)

    You're making it more complex than it is.

    You can get parts for anything and still get it fixed. If there is a market. You have no point.

    There are no laws that require dealers to stock 20 years old parts. You have no point.

    Tesla doesn't ban service on their cars. You have no point.

    If many Teslas are sold, there will be a market for parts. You have no point.

    If you buy a Tesla and there are a million of those Teslas sold, you will be able to get service. Even if it's not from Tesla. You have no point.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @07:56PM (#46459447) Journal

    If we remove the dealer who is going to stock parts, deliver them, and install them?.....Eventually either you stop getting parts and service for cars after 5 years or your start getting gouged in ways you can only imagine

    Yes, quite true. I'll just run down the road to my local (California) MG dealer to get parts for my '71 MG...... Oh wait!

    Guess what, parts for my MG usually cost less than than equivalent parts on new cars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @08:17PM (#46459611)

    The left is up in arms when their darling must face the same rules that every other automaker obeyed for decades.

  • Re:Don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @10:11PM (#46460391) Homepage Journal

    Free market principles? How about plain old freedom?

    Contrary to some economists' arguments, free market originated from freedom. We didn't become a capitalist country, because it was an efficient way to run economy. We've developed the free markets, because we were free — one's only obligations were those, that were spelled out in the contracts one entered into voluntarily (plus family relations and patriotism).

    Sadly, those freedoms have been chipped at for over 100 years now... Today we must feed all the hungry (without subjecting them even to the "indignity" of the Pauper's Oath — forget about disenfranchising), we must pay for other people's education. And shelter. And healthcare. And telephone service...

    Freedom, you say?..

  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by green1 ( 322787 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @09:56AM (#46463191)

    Or you know, you could look at what Tesla actually does...

    It's a combination of the fact that Teslas require only a minute fraction of the service of a normal internal combustion engine car, and that Tesla already provides better service than any dealership in existence. They have service centres all over the place (who cares if it's in the same place as the store if it's no further away) and you don't even have to go to the service centre because they will either send a mechanic to your doorstep, or pick up the car from your home or office for you (and replace it with a loaner if service will take longer than you can wait)

    So why would I want to force their stores (best located in high foot traffic areas like malls) to be co-located with their service centres (best located in low rent areas like industrial parks) when it doesn't do anything to help me as a consumer? The only thing that it would do is either increase costs (paid in the end by the consumer) or decrease convenience (again at the expense of the consumer)

    This law doesn't look at what the most advantageous model is for the consumer, it looks at what the existing business model is of the dealerships and forces everyone in to that mould effectively prohibiting any improvement to it.

  • by macpacheco ( 1764378 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:50PM (#46465299)

    The real story here is Tesla success is making everybody else look bad.
    They are a threat to much more than the car dealers. They are a threat to the innovate at a snails pace mantra of Detroit. They are a threat to big oil companies. Electricity is about 1/4 the cost of gasoline mile per mile (even comparing a Model S with a Prius, even considering the Model S is a large premium sedan, versus the Prius being a mid size). And they got this far in less than two years of Model S sales. Give them another 5 years and the auto industry will be undergoing an earthquake of innovation with Tesla at the forefront and few companies with enough agility to try to follow.
    It won't take long until a few of those state representatives don't get re-elected for their Tesla actions.
    Tesla adoption is spreading like wildfire. If Tesla had twice the li-ion battery supply, they would be delivering twice as much.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson