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Transportation Politics

Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again 387

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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  • Ask... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mcspoo ( 933106 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:28PM (#46230541) Homepage
    Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer: "Fuck Beta!"

    Seriously, tho... of course it's an underhanded tactic. It's not even new. The big "3" did the same thing when Tucker tried to revolutionize the industry. Automakers don't like change at anyone's pace but their own glacial plodding.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:29PM (#46230557)

    It's not the first time politics try to protect businesses, but it's hardly been THIS blatant before.

    Free market is a thing of the past. Today you don't buy and sell goods and compete with your competitor with quality and price, you buy and sell laws and compete in who can bribe more politicians.

    It's a bit like papal elections in medieval times.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:37PM (#46230655)
    While Tesla is the only manufacturer who is attempting to sell cars without a dealer network, the dealers recognize that if Tesla is successful with this tactic other manufacturers will follow their lead. The car dealers are attempting to protect their business model. I hope the dealers fail because it is not at all clear to me that dealers add any value to the process. It appears that the dealers' association agrees with me. However, I am not positive that car dealers do not add value. If they do, and manufacturers are allowed to sell without them, we will quickly discover what value they add to the equation. In either case, this attempt to enshrine their existence into law is a bad idea.
  • Re:Meh... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by minstrelmike ( 1602771 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @02:49PM (#46230779)

    Cutting out the middle man is not a crime, its an achievement.

    It kind of depends on how you make your own living.
    If you make your living as a middle man, it doesn't seem like an achievement; it looks more like a disaster.
    And while I dislike getting pedantic, the _definition_ of crime is based on law, not morals or economics.
    If the law says cutting out the middle man is a crime, then it is.

    Note that I am not arguing pro or con, merely perception vs social reality.

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

    by nehril ( 115874 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @03:00PM (#46230925)

    The history of why the car dealership system exists as it does is actually quite interesting. Back in the day, car dealerships were the good guy underdogs, and car manufacturers were pretty much the devil. The "Planet Money" podcast has a great episode on this:

    Basically explains why buying a car in general sucks (consistently ranked as one of the worst consumer experiences), and why there isn't a "new car supermaket" where you can browse & buy cars from multiple manufacturers.

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

    by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @03:43PM (#46231389)

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

    Don't buy the talking points of the parties. Each party has a number of conflicting interest groups within them, and which group is on top varies from region to region. Some conservatives believe in the free market almost religiously, while many others believe in the free market is only a great idea to apply *outside* of their industry. Furthermore, the lower you go down from the national level, the more an individual politician's interests will be tied into which big fish is willing to dribble money into their campaign, and that will more often than not be tied to the local rich guy.

    Car dealerships are local businesses that pull in a lot of money and which have long had a history of being big donors to local politics. There are a number of ideological reasons that Republicans would support protection of a local elite at the expense of what the public wants, but let's face it, a Democrat would probably support the same bill if his town had a politically active car dealership in it and just use different rhetoric for it.

    The "free market" is a principle, and principles frequently go AWOL when reelection funding is on the line. Or if you want to be even more cynical, you can consider it just the Republican's "branding" rather than beliefs. Something to keep the common voters rooting for the team, while the business of politics continues to be business.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @03:46PM (#46231423)

    The party of less government and pro-business.

    Pro-business. Mostly yes. Less government? Not so much. The republican party only wants less government when it suits them and keeps them in power. If the republicans REALLY were for less government they would be pushing to reduce the size of the military, reduce medicare, reduce social security and stay out of morality debates like stem cell research and gay marriage. They can pay lip services to "less government" all they want but their actions are not those of a party which actually wants less government.

  • Re:Pretty Much. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Grey Geezer ( 2699315 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @04:12PM (#46231689)

    Ohio rubes and marks need to buy only internal combustion cars I guess. More and more it seems to me as though Republicans (or perhaps it's only their big business sponsors) regard us not as free individuals, but rather as consumers and serfs. They seem to believe that we shouldn't have job flexibility (how awful that because of the ACA we might be free to change jobs, or even quit our jobs), should not control our family size (no birth control for you, they need more consumers and serfs), should not have a clean environment (clean air and water regulation is OK..., but not if it interferes with, or reduces, their profit margin). Democrats are about as bad...maybe only marginally less obvious about it is all. Libertarians are pretty much Republicans only without the urge to stick their noses into our bedrooms and bodies. It wasn't always this bad. Was it?

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

    by blindseer ( 891256 ) <> on Thursday February 13, 2014 @12:21AM (#46235521)

    Really? Democrats are less corrupt? Perhaps I have a bias but I don't recall too many Republicans going to jail recently. I do recall quite a few Democrats sitting behind bars right now.

    Maybe the Republicans are just better at covering their tracks. If that is true then that just means the Democrats are corrupt, and also stupid.

    I'm not someone that is going to come running to defend the GOP. I'm also not going to stand by while someone tries to tell me with a straight face that Democrats are trustworthy. Democrats are notorious for election fraud. I'm just at a loss for words.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972