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
Current regulation not only effects Tesla and Elio, but any other innovative manufacturer trying to bring a new automobile to market. There is no justification on any rational economic or public policy grounds for such a restraint of commerce. Rather, the upshot of the regulation is to reduce competition in the automobile market for the benefit of its auto dealers and to the detriment of its consumers. It is protectionism for auto dealers, pure and simple. A fundamental principle of competition is that consumers -- not regulation -- should determine what they buy and how they buy it. Blanket prohibitions on direct manufacturer sales to consumers are an anomaly within the larger economy. There is not a single argument for a direct distribution ban that makes any sense. To the contrary, these arguments simply bolster our belief that the regulations in question are motivated by economic protectionism that favors dealers at the expense of consumers and innovative technologies. It is discouraging to see this ban being used to block any company that is bringing dynamic and innovative products to market. We strongly encourage you to repeal it, by new legislation if necessary.