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Tesla Model S sedan glamor shot
Earlier this year, North Carolina auto dealers got the vapors at the thought of Tesla moving into their territory. Threatened by Tesla's new model of doing business, the North Carolina auto dealers used their political muscle to pass a bill in the North Carolina Senate to bar residents from buying Teslas:
But there's another major battle brewing between the status quo establishment and Tesla—the right to sell the car direct to consumers. Tesla rightfully disdains the dealership model. First of all, dealerships fucking suck. Does anyone enjoy the experience of buying a car? Does anyone say, "yeah, that dealer sure brought value to my transaction!" Hell no. They are a blight on our planet, societal parasites. And for some reason (likely having to do with campaign contributions), they've forced laws in every state prohibiting auto manufacturers from selling their product direct to consumers. Very "free market", huh?

To get around dealership laws, Tesla has created a network of "galleries" at high-end malls where customers can learn about the car. But if they want to buy, they go online to complete the transaction. They're not dealerships, just glossy brochures. Seems inoffensive enough, right?

Well, dealership trade groups have sued Tesla in several states like Massachusetts and New York. They want to force Tesla buyers to go through the same painful process everyone else must suffer. But with judges siding with the upstart, the dealers are looking to new strategies, asking legislatures to step in.

In North Carolina, the state Senate just passed such a bill unanimously, which would essentially bar North Carolina residents from buying the vehicles.  

Manufacturers would be barred from "using a computer or other communications facilities, hardware, or equipment" to sell or lease a car to anyone in the state, according to the legislation.

Can't use no fancy computers to purchase stuff! So let's roll back the entire state to the 20th century. Sheesh.

Telsa Motors executives didn't give up in North Carolin and their efforts are paying off:
Tesla Motors continues to buck the odds, celebrating a major victory in the North Carolina Senate this week. The North Carolina Automobile Dealers -- concerned about competition -- set its sights on the green car company last month when it endorsed a bill that would've significantly curtailed Tesla's ability to sell vehicles in the state. The legislation, supported by the Senate's Commerce Committee, targeted direct-to-consumer sales which eliminate the need for dealerships. But Elon Musk and friends proved that it wouldn't be quite so easy to squeeze them out of NCAD's territory -- Tesla took both North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and House Speaker Thom Tillis on test drives to show off the car's capabilities. Musk's strategy seems to have paid off, as the North Carolina House of Representatives struck down the bill on Tuesday. With another victory under its belt, Tesla's upward momentum shows few signs of slowing down anytime soon.
A huge win for Tesla AND consumers!

Email to your Governor to opposing any law that would require Tesla, or any car manufacturer, to go through auto dealers in order to sell their vehicles.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and DK GreenRoots.

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