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 #280

Submission Number:
280
Commenter:
H Sharp
State:
Vermont
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
I would like to comment on state restrictions on manufacturers' ability to engage in direct sales to consumers. While some restrictions on franchisors (manufacturers who use franchise dealers for new auto sales) may have been necessary for direct sales in the past, it would be anti-competitive to restrict direct sales in today's automobile marketplace with so many manufacturers. State laws should support a distribution system that encourages competition and innovation. Restricting direct to consumer sales, for example, creates a special protection for independent dealers. This protection will ultimately serve to harm both competition and consumers. Further, it is important to support innovation in the sales and distribution chain. Restrictions on certain methods prevent innovation and consumers' ability to choose more efficient methods. I am not suggesting that one method of sales distribution, such as direct to consumer, is better than another. My comments are to say that the consumer should be able to decide. This will support more competition, protect consumers, and allow innovation that can lead to greater economic efficiency. Thank you, Henry Sharp