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
There are numerous reasons why the states should not be allowed to mandate a dealership model for the sale of new electric cars. First of all, it is distinctly anti-free enterprise (dare I say Unamerican?) to tell a vendor of safe, lawfully manufactured American products that he cannot sell his products unless he sets up a multilevel sales system. Second, adding layers of bureaucracy is an inefficient way to sell anything. Third, traditional auto dealers have little knowledge of electric cars and are thus unable to explain their strengths and weaknesses in a useful way. Fourth, traditional dealers make a majority of their profits from servicing cars while electric cars require little service, encouraging such dealers to promote internal combustion engined autos versus their nonpolluting electric cars. Fifth, I have not met many people who benefited from buying an auto from a dealer: on the contrary, I and most folks I know find the dealership sales experience to be high pressure, uninformative, not enjoyable and not useful. They often seem to work against you instead of with you. An amazing example of this was one time when I went to a Toyota dealer ready to buy a Toyota Camry. The salesman asked me what I was wanting to buy: I replied that I was looking for a white Camry, but was undecided about other details. In spite of the fact I had observed several white Camrys on his car lot, he asked me: "WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO BUY A BLUE ONE?" We walked out, and went to another Toyota dealer who sold a white Camry to us. Full disclosure: My last car purchase was a Tesla Model S, which I ordered over the internet because Tesla did not even have a showroom in Georgia at that time. I would purchase from Tesla again, given the same circumstances. Their employees were on the phone were knowledgeable, helpful and did their jobs in a relaxed manner which made the experience enjoyable. I can say that no other car buying experience in my lifetime (seven new car purchases) was up to the Tesla standard. New car dealers add no positive aspects to the purchase experience, and therefore should not be mandated by anyone.