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Transportation Politics

Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again 387

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the screams-of-dying-middlemen dept.
cartechboy writes "Man the automotive dealer associations don't like Tesla. Remember that time the Ohio dealers attempted to block Tesla from selling its electric cars in in the Buckeye State. Now, it's happening again. The car dealers are once again pushing legislation that would keep Tesla from selling cars in Ohio. Senate Bill 260 would prohibit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles from issuing car-dealer licenses to auto manufacturers. Since Tesla owns and operates its own network of 'dealerships' (aka galleries), this would make it so the automaker couldn't acquire a car-dealer license. Section 11 of the bill lists 'a manufacturer... applying for license to sell or lease new motor vehicles at retail' as one of the types of organization ineligible for a dealership license. On top of all this, the language isn't on the Senate floor as a standalone bill. No, it's inserted as an amendment to Senate Bill 137 which is an unrelated bill requiring Ohio drivers to move to the left while passing roadside maintenance vehicles. Is this yet another slimy tactic to try and undercut the new kid on the block?"
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Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

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  • Pretty Much. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SlashdotWanker (1476819) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:27PM (#46230537)
    Yes.
  • Once again ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:29PM (#46230561) Homepage

    Once again, companies try to prevent competition through legislation ... and apparently some lawmakers aren't above giving it to them.

    This is just buggy whip makers trying to ensure they still get their cut.

    Free market my ass.

  • Re:Meh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gadget27 (1931378) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:36PM (#46230639)
    Cutting out the middle man is not a crime, its an achievement.

    What would be the problem if Ford or Honda sold directly to the consumer? Are you suggesting that it's anti-competitive to set the price of your own product? In a scenario without dealerships, there would still be competition... not between dealerships, but between manufactures instead. If you could only buy a Ford from Ford, and the only cars on the market were Ford, then there could be a problem, but there is no shortage of auto manufactures to keep the market competitive.
  • Missed Opprutunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EMG at MU (1194965) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:44PM (#46230723)
    Generally, politicians with (R) next to their name claim to be against regulations and state/federal interference with free enterprise. Therefore I would expect the (R) members of the Ohio Senate to be up in arms about this law, capitalizing on this opportunity to show that the (D) guys are always putting unreasonable burdens on private enterprise and stifling innovation and growth.

    But the fact that the sponsor and co sponsors of the bill are all (R)s contradicts that long held (R) stance. What gives? And why aren't there any reporters pointing out this contradiction?
  • Re:Meh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hadlock (143607) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:54PM (#46230835) Homepage Journal

    It's still an achievement. If you look at it objectively the middle man only exists to expedite sales of cars from the manufacturer to the end user. If it's now more efficent to get the product to the end user directly than working through a proxy, you've cut out a step. In the era before instantanious cheap/free communication the middle man was an important center of local product knowledge, now we have wikis and fedex. I can troubleshoot and order an alternator for a rare car on the internet and install it myself, I don't need the specialized knowledge of the BMW dealership to do this for me anymore. Electric cars have even fewer moving parts to maintain.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @01:57PM (#46230873)

    Which is even more baffling, I usually associate free market to republicans. Dems are usually supporters of bigger government.

    That's what Republicans claim, but there is very little recent evidence of this.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:01PM (#46230935) Journal

    Which is even more baffling, I usually associate free market to republicans. Dems are usually supporters of bigger government.

    The closer you get to the local level, the less each party matches their stereotype. When you get to small towns, you'll have democrats sounding very conservative, if that's the kind of people who live in the town (or vice-versa). Issues that are important at a national level just don't matter at a city level.

    What does the town of Riverbank, CA care about the US military budget? But they might have a strong opinion on whether their local car dealership goes out of business.

  • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:12PM (#46231043)
    Of course, this has nothing to do with Tesla or people buying Tesla's. Its about HOW cars are sold, not which cars are sold. It is dealership protection, plain and simple. Folks use Tesla to draw attention, but Teslas could be sold under the proposed law just like any car.. via dealerships.

    Now, I am very much against this protection of dealerships. But it has nothing to do with Tesla, or political parties. You'll find plenty of protectionism in both parties. It stifles competition. While there may be a few legitimate consumer protection concerns involving unscrupulous car sellers, it doesn't really measure up, and there other ways to afford those protections if they think they are needed.

    But anyone who jumps on the "republicans want to ban Tesla" wagon isn't really thinking very much about what really is at the core.
  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:21PM (#46231173)

    It's not Free Market vs Bigger Government - it's who's giving us campaign contributions

  • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:53PM (#46231499)

    The reason it's awful, is that for most people, a car is the most expensive item (apart from real estate) that they will ever buy, by a huge margin.

    The reason it is awful is because lots of dealers have a VERY well deserved reputation for trying to rip people off. If you've ever been through a negotiation to buy or sell a car through a dealer, you probably know that they will use every underhanded tactic in the book to try to get you to pay more than you need to. They try to sell you add ons that you do not need (like undercoating) or are overpriced. They try to take advantage of you and as a result, people resent them.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptSlaq (1491233) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @04:18PM (#46232405)
    --snip

    Car sales direct to consumer are entirely a localized business all around the US, and for good reason! Car dealers are often active in their communities (mine are) and understand the unique needs of customers within a given region, making them better salesmen. They can reduce costs for both Honda and the consumer by ordering in bulk from the factory, which maximizes efficiency from the plant.

    This would be true for large manufacturers of vehicles that have several models, as regional tastes should be considered when dealing with a large inventory and/or model selection. Telsa is a boutique manufacturer. They currently have exactly 1 model that has a handful of options. Most if not all are built to order. There's a rather large gulf between these two situations. While there will be 2 in the near future, and possibly 3 a while after that, they're not going to approach the size and model lineup of any of the major manufacturers anytime soon.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flaming error (1041742) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @04:45PM (#46232669) Journal

    A "blue dog democrat" is a democrat whose constituency is conservative.

    A "republican in name only" is a guy who wants to be a republican but is rejected and disowned by the base when they catch a whiff of non-zealotry regarding their party line.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uniquename72 (1169497) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @05:31PM (#46233105)

    The GOP has been fractured by a bunch of progressive lefts that pretend to be conservative. (Boehner, etc).

    I love how today's Republicans pretend to worship Ronald Reagan, while calling any existing Reagan Republican a RINO.

    Reagan raised taxes and the minimum wage when it was good for the economy, allowed fairly easy immigration for illegals already in the country, and happily met with the leaders of enemy states. Today, even talking about any of these things would have Fox News frothing at the mouth.

    Obama is to the right of Reagan on a host of issues, and still we get whining from today's Republicans.

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