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 #291

Submission Number:
291
Commenter:
Perkins
State:
Texas
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'm conflicted in this argument as I strongly believe in States rights and maintaining their ability to determine their states economical future. However, I believe that the banning of direct-to-consumer car sales is an absolutely archaic viewpoint that is still only enforced today because the dealerships spent so much in campaign donations and lobbying. I will attempt to bullet point my arguments for the sake readability. 1) No other consumer product is *required* to be sold by a 3rd party. I can't imagine telling Apple that they were required to sell their phones through an electronics store and they couldn't have their no infamous Apple Stores. The same principal apply's for vehicles especially given how vehicles are becoming more and more like computers that happen to have wheels. 2) Dealerships inspire and promote price inequality. There can sometimes be more than a $10,000 price difference in the exact same car. The person with more sales training or better price negotiation skills is always going to get the better deal. Which leaves other individuals paying more for vehicles for not other reason than they have a different skillset. 3) Dealerships have a conflict of interest when it comes to consumers buying cars. Dealerships greatest profit margins come from vehicles that require high amounts of routine maintenance. This leads them to push consumers to vehicles that are not right for the consumer but best for the dealership. 4) I believe the vehicle direct-to-consumer model will also increase safety and reduce the time-to-diagnose and time-to-fix for newer vehicles. All of the manufacturer service shops would all be connected back to their corporate infrastructure rather than being relayed from a dealership computer which may or may not even happen depending on the dealership. This results in delayed notifications of safety concerns, underestimates of problems, and significant delays in possible recalls. 5) Dealerships often sell multiple different brands of vehicles and this results in a wide variation of maintenance quality. If I buy a specialized electric vehicle from company A, and need some work done to my vehicle, if I'm forced to go to a dealership for service, the mechanic that is performing the work may be certified to work on my vehicle but given that he also works on 4 other car brands he may not remember his training or confuse my vehicle maintenance with that of another (such as torque required on bolts). I would, and I believe most people would rather have someone who is specialized in my vehicle performing the service or maintenance. You wouldn't ask an Apple Store to fix your Android Phone, why are the states allowed to force manufacturers to do this? Thank you for reviewing my comment, I hope my points are able to help you reach a conclusion that is best for the consumer. On a final note, since the dealership model is so well established at this point. Why couldn't we grandfather combustion engine vehicles to the dealership model, and allow only electric and/or autonomous vehicles to be sold direct to consumer? I believe this is an easy distinction to make for consumers. If you want a "normal car or truck" goto a dealership, if you want a driverless car or electric vehicle go to their specialized store.