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
My comment is regarding allowing manufacturers to engage in direct sales to consumers. I recently bought a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) from an established vehicle manufacturer and dealership. I was very disappointed in the lack of information and knowledge about most thing related to an electric vehicle. Salesperson even acknowledged that he has not gone through training for selling PEVs and did not know everything about it. After getting the car, the typical surveys by manufacturer was sent and I advised them of the lack of information that the dealership had. I was contacted but no real concern or attention was given to my report. I believe this experience highlights the problem with PEV sales because of how typical/standards cars are sold and distributed. There is no incentive for dealers to sell PEVs and in fact, it is a disadvantageous to them to sell PEVs. It costs more to train personnel and takes up more time since these vehicles are completely different and there is a lot to learn about them (not only with regard to the use of the vehicle itself but also Federal and State rebates to be discussed). In addition, PEVs do not have significant maintenance and repair issue that dealerships make money from. My friends who bought a car from a pure PEV manufacturer have not had any of the issues that I mentioned above. Please make recommendations to Federal government/Congress to allow PEV manufacturers to sel directly to consumers. If you are not convinced of my arguments, just try and remember the last time you bought a car and think about your experience with the dealership and the salesperson.