FTC to Host Public Workshop Examining the U.S. Auto Distribution System Workshop Will Explore Competition, State Regulations, and Emerging Trends in the Industry, Project No. P131202
"restrictions on manufacturers' ability to engage in direct sales to consumers" As a consumer I have dealt with both sides of this issue in buying cars from Honda, Lexus and Tesla. I always felt like I wasn't getting the "best deal" when purchasing from Honda/Lexus due to the independent dealer model. Even after we settled on a price (which took hours), it didn't end there where they take you into financing and then try and sell you on even more things like extended warranties and things like "under body protection" Which they don't tell you that it voids your paint warranty if you pay for it. And then taking your car in for service and they are always trying to upsell you on things you don't need or want, and waiting long enough and you will sometimes get people trying to have you buy a new car from them. It is all a nightmare and it doesn't seem to matter where you go or who you deal with. The so-called "competition" is between manufacturers, not different dealers. There are two Lexus dealers "near" me, for example, but that "near" is separated by 30 miles. Most people are not going to drive all over the country to save a hundred dollars... No, if I am going to cross-shop, I am going to look at different Manufacturers not dealers. And then you get the same terrible service, because wouldn't you know it, all the different car dealers in one area is owned by the same person... so they practice the same tactics. On the flip side, I haven't had an easier and smoother experience than with Tesla. I knew what I was getting, and their sales folks were not like anything I had ever experienced. They would talk you away from taking an option on the car if it wasn't what you really wanted. And the buying process couldn't be easier where you do it all online, once I went to sign over for the car it was just a few signatures and a walk around the car. I was in and out in 30 minutes with a new car (but they would have stayed to answer any questions until I was satisfied). But the key here was I was in control over the time spent. Maybe this is just a sign of bad business practices by shady dealers? but it is strange how in the 3 other cars I have purchased, I experienced the same things, from three different states. If we are truly in support of free markets and letting the best business win, then why shouldn't we allow multiple ways of buying a car? This forced 3rd party is annoying, and through various studies have supported that it causes an increase in the price of cars by 5-10%. Thank you for your time.