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 #263

Submission Number:
263
Commenter:
Casey Jensen
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
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
In the past several years, as Tesla has emerged, several states have sought to outlaw their direct sales model. I will use them as a reference throughout this comment, as they are the company I'm most familiar with This is an unfortunate side effect of large auto dealers, and groups representing auto dealers lobbying against Tesla to protect the status quo and keep them from challenging their model, their existence, and their profits. Dealers don't offer much in the way of a benefit to the consumer, rather, they offer an additional cost. They markup vehicles to pay for their existence and their staff, an unneeded existence and expense in the 21st century economy. There is enough competition among automakers, and public availability of knowledge/information/products via the internet, that there isn't much to be provided as a rational argument against direct sales. Furthermore, the vertical integration of sales offers the following benefits: 1. Cost - Without a middle-man extracting profits/adding markup to vehicles, the consumer is ultimately provided a better value for their purchases. 2. Uniform Response and Updates - As an example, Tesla performs over the air updates to their vehicles when a crucial safety or security flaw is discovered. For other automakers, this is not possible, due to dealer laws/regulations. This leaves consumers at risk, and leads to a fractured rollout of said updates to consumers. 3. Service - The automaker can notify its' users and service centers directly of any recall related items, necessary fixes, etc., without having to go through a 3rd party with a potential loss or misinterpretation of information. Ultimately, the practice of outlawing Tesla's sales in the states that do is anti-competitive, and not inline with our nation's free market principles. It is yet another unfortunate example of those with power and money (dealer groups) enforcing their will upon consumers by using their funds, legal groups, and extensive resources in order to enact legislation that is against the general public's best interest. Thank you, Casey Jensen