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 moved to New Mexico in early 2015, from California, where I had bought a Tesla Model S electric vehicle. I was shocked and dismayed to learn, when I moved to New Mexico, that New Mexico was one of those notorious states that banned Tesla customers from receiving service for their cars within the state, and also banned Tesla Motors from opening up stores to sell their cars to residents here. The laws on the books in New Mexico were put in place in the 1990s to protect the contractual franchise relationship between auto manufacturers who franchise, and dealers who affiliate as franchisees with dealers. It seems to me that this law is now being used contrary to its original spirit: it is now a convenient weapon to block new auto companies like Tesla from doing business in the State of New Mexico, purely on anti-competitive, protectionist grounds. How is that fair? As a resident of New Mexico I feel I'm being harmed because, should I ever need major service on my car, I have to PAY Tesla to have someone drive from either Tesla's Scottsdale, AZ service center or Denver, CO service center, a 8-12 hour drive, then put my car on their flat-bed trailer, and tow it all the way back to the service center in AZ or CO. Then wait, then have it towed all the way back to me. All that, because some New Mexico auto dealers managed to get this old-fashioned law on the books to protect them from, face it, the future, and from competition. I hope the FTC will do something about this. It is unfair and particularly egregious considering that Tesla Motors is an American car company, trying to help the planet and bring sustainable energy transportation to the marketplace, and in the process get rid of gasoline cars. I consider this a good thing. I bought a Tesla because I support this effort. I don't appreciate the harm that the dealers are causing me through the laws they paid to get on the books here in New Mexico. I truly hope you can correct this injustice soon, and once and for all.