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Telsa Model S
Tesla Model S
It's never been about Tesla.
Tesla Motors Inc. struck a deal Wednesday with Ohio auto dealers that could allow the electric-car maker to ease a battle over its direct-to-consumer retailing model, at least for the near term.

Under the agreement, Tesla would be allowed to keep operating two company-owned retail stores in the state, and open just one more. The deal requires approval from the Ohio state legislature. The proposed bill would bar all other auto makers from bypassing franchised dealers to retail cars.

As I recently wrote, the auto dealers don't care about Tesla. It's currently a niche high-end product.

What they're really worried about is the idea of Tesla's business model—selling direct to consumers. This Ohio deal, if approved by the legislature, confirms that. If Tesla sells direct to consumers? They don't care. If Ford or GM do, then they're history.

But why shouldn't manufacturers be allowed to sell to whoever they want? Why does the auto industry have a government-enforced middle-man costing consumers more money and leaving those car brands' images in the hand of sleazy dealers?

More below the fold.

Apple found that the best way to sell its products was to control the entire purchasing experience, from beginning to end. From their website to their Apple Stores, that direct-to-consumer shift was a major part of the company's turnaround and current success. Yet for Ford, GM, Toyota and the rest of those auto manufacturers, the first experience consumers have with their products is at decidedly unpleasant dealerships. So dealerships have plenty to fear. Consumers hate them, and would kill to have a way to avoid them!

Ironically, dealerships make the bulk of their money through their service departments:

For the Penske Automotive Group, which has operations in the United States and in the United Kingdom, service and parts represented 13 percent of annual revenues, but 44 percent of the gross profits. The gross margin for service and parts was 57 percent for the Penske group, vs. just 8 percent for new-vehicle sales.
And that's the way forward: let manufacturers decide how they sell their cars, and transform themselves into pure service operations. But of course, 44 percent is less than 100 percent, so those dealerships will continue to use their lobbying power to distort the market and force consumers to use a service no longer needed.

Because they sure aren't winning customer loyalty by providing great service. Instead, they're making arguments like these:

This Musk guy, he wants all the profits for himself.
... because what's important to dealers is squeezing out cash from a product they don't even produce.

Or this:

"You tell me they're gonna support the little leagues and the YMCA?" [Bob Glaser, head of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association] demanded. Tesla says, actually, it will — not that sponsoring youth athletics is, or should be, required to do business in America.
You know what else supports little leagues? Parents who have a few extra grand in their pocket, because they didn't have to pay a middle man.

Or this:

"If they change the franchise laws, it allows every other manufacturer to come in and do what Tesla is going to — compete with our family-owned businesses."
Oh, competition is bad? Then what's this about?
He said the state's law was originally enacted to promote price competition by forcing dealerships to compete with each other rather than allowing a manufacturer to monopolize the market and to prevent a manufacturer opening a dealership to compete unfairly with franchises, Appleton said.
On one hand, dealers say "competition is good!"—but they don't really mean it. They don't want competition. In fact, try to set up a Honda dealership in an area already served by a Honda dealership. You're not allowed. Because there isn't a business alive that truly welcomes competition.

And that "competing on price" stuff is probably the worst of it—the haggling that makes an already unpleasant experience even worse. Saturn got lots of mileage for years on their "one price" model. People don't want to feel like they got ripped off. Having a set price is a good thing. And if you want competition, well, there are plenty of auto manufacturers in the biz, let them compete the way Apple competes with other PC manufacturers. There is nothing approaching a monopoly in the auto biz.

In the end, the problem is that auto dealerships don't provide any value to consumers. In fact, they're one of the most unpleasant commercial experiences consumers ever face.

[T]he Consumer Federation of America reported in 2013 that “[m]isrepresentation in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes” was the top source of consumer complaints to state officials, as it had been in previous years.
Auto dealerships are a plague. If auto manufacturers want to keep working with them, that's their prerogative. But if they don't, they shouldn't have to. That's the bottom line.

Auto dealerships know they are bottom feeders. That's why they're terrified of Tesla. They have a good thing going. They don't want business as usual to change.

Originally posted to kos on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (151+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T Maysle, annieli, commonmass, melfunction, Hey338Too, JeffW, badscience, Lost and Found, slksfca, side pocket, MKinTN, GAS, here4tehbeer, wader, Bob Love, MJB, dRefractor, sc kitty, camlbacker, Brian82, mollyd, concernedamerican, LinSea, kevinpdx, Involuntary Exile, Railfan, Gentle Giant, howarddream, antooo, GeorgeXVIII, millwood, offgrid, Avilyn, where4art, eru, Pat K California, defluxion10, Sylv, Polly Syllabic, Bill in Portland Maine, DRo, Subterranean, mconvente, oceanview, ColoTim, TomP, Tinfoil Hat, Matt Z, political mutt, Thomas Twinnings, leonard145b, Sun Tzu, CoolOnion, Bluesee, Kurt from CMH, cybersaur, CJB, fcvaguy, JayyVee, BlueJessamine, 2thanks, Thinking Fella, ratcityreprobate, TKO333, jan4insight, Gowrie Gal, JDWolverton, Sharon Wraight, onionjim, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, davidincleveland, Marihilda, jes2, stlsophos, No one gets out alive, Aaa T Tudeattack, Unit Zero, MarkInSanFran, ridemybike, Bruce The Moose, jasan, exNYinTX, nirbama, SciFiGuy, HeyMikey, Mary Mike, bwintx, cocinero, hawkseye, koosah, ThinkFirst, afisher, sea note, skohayes, River Rover, Aunt Pat, rwsab, eeff, tampaedski, dksbook, raptavio, O112358, fallina7, Kokomo for Obama, sajiocity, The Marti, spacecadet1, twigg, bloomer 101, AdamR510, stevenwag, greengemini, lorell, Hark, BYw, ARS, Alumbrados, Mokurai, Kevskos, Zinman, jck, oortdust, Blue Bell Bookworm, richardvjohnson, SCFrog, Texknight, Odysseus, psnyder, ModerateJosh, antirove, Darkchylde, confitesprit, Jeff Y, Vince CA, Powered Grace, Oh Mary Oh, chrisculpepper, skyounkin, groupw, redlum jak, Dustin Mineau, rhoneyman, NewRomeIsBurning, Andrew F Cockburn, JerryNA, luerwulf, wilywascal, SphericalXS, Gwennedd, MJ via Chicago, gas28man
  •  the inherent difference between OH & NJ (20+ / 0-)

    (car)telization

    Auto dealerships are a plague. If auto manufacturers want to keep working with them, that's their prerogative. But if they don't, they shouldn't have to. That's the bottom line.
    Auto dealerships know they are bottom feeders. That's why they're terrified of Tesla. They have a good thing going. They don't want business as usual to change.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:09:47 AM PDT

    •  Gallup: Hate for car dealers > congressmen... (11+ / 0-)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:10:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction: That may be inaccurate... (15+ / 0-)

        ...per the article...

        ....There is hope yet for car salesmen. The poll's margin of error is 4 percent, meaning that Congressmen still may be America's least trusted people. Small victories!

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:13:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You could power something useful with your hate. (0+ / 0-)

        I think that you and kos are missing the mark by many miles... Do you really want to destroy many middle class jobs? I am not a car salesman and have no car salesman friends, but this is napsterization of another industry. Car sale is often a decent job. Most car salesman that I dealt with very fine. Some are nice and some are not like in any business.
        The point is that Napster destroyed music industry by making most music free. Amazon is on the way to do this for book authors. Why do you want to support this unnecessary destruction in car business? There is no free lunch. Car companies will not sell car on its own. They will hire Silicon Valley whiz kids to run one top server for all cars in US. This will concentrate power and money in the hands of a few who owns that server. Another human activity will be free and demonetized. Thousands of car salesmen will starve and several people will get very rich. You get short term "benefit" of slightly cheaper car. This will turn out to be a disaster in long term. (1) you will not be able to do car test drive, there will not be anybody to offer it. Just buy it online. (2) You are more likely to lose your job, because inequality of wealth in society will increase.  You will have less customers to buy whatever you are making. It is that simple. Thanks to levees, car salesmen have a few more years of decent life to enjoy. I may not say it well. Some people say it much better: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/...
        I do not support what Tesla is doing. This is going in reverse.

        •  Could not disagree more (7+ / 0-)

          1) Books and toasters aren't cars and don't require much else beyond heft and prior experience. However car lots, like Tesla's, will continue to exist to provide test-drive experiences. 2) Some jobs will disappear, and others will be created, but at least the ones that are disappearing aren't jobs that people will miss.

          Also, too, Napster didn't destroy music.  Last I checked, I can still buy music (and do). And Amazon is helping some authors not have to give away their proceeds to (potentially) useless agents and publishers. So at least for some, they're seeing a bigger cut of the pie than before.

          Cartels are usually bad. Auto dealerships aren't evil the way drug and oil cartels are, but they don't deserve to be exempt from the free-market capitalism that created the needs for automobiles in the first place.

        •  Napster did not destroy music (4+ / 0-)

          It could have destroyed the music industry.  And good riddance.

          The original model for entertainers was: go out, play, get paid.  Then came recordings.  It became: go out, play, get paid, use recordings to get popular so you could go out more, play more, get paid more.  Then came "the industry" and recordings became the model for making money (well, for the middle men, not the artists).

          Well, when the price of recording becomes effectively zero per unit, why should anyone expect to get rich selling them?!

          All Napster did was prove that the "sell recordings model" was only viable because of scarcity of recordings.  Now all there is is manufactured scarcity (like diamonds) and even that didn't work so well.  And artists are learning that the new business model is the old one: go out, play, get paid.  Recordings are ads.

        •  For the record, that's not "my" hate... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NewRomeIsBurning, JerryNA, Damaged262

          ...especially since I've spent a great deal of time (and an immediate family member and another business partner have, as well) in the technology/finance/consumer analytics sector in the auto industry. The truth is this is somewhat of a non-story, frankly. We're talking about a miniscule fraction of a percent of overall retail auto sales, and that's at the VERY high end of the industry, too.

          NY and many other states may be following suit of NJ, too. (Retail auto sector is VERY influential in local politics in this country.)

          Retail auto sales account for roughly 20%-27% (depending upon whose nos. you're quoting) of ALL local retail commerce in America.

          Big auto manufacturers don't want to be bothered with the retail side of the business.  Where they DO focus, however, is in the FINANCE side of it, and that's where the largest portion of a retail auto store's revenue comes from, too. It's not the profit from the sale of a new car but the revenue from the in-store financing of it (roughly half of all auto finance occurs inside the car dealership) that is their focus. And, yes, there's been a noted effort to shift some of that focus to the "service-drive" department in the past decade, but auto FiNANCE is still the big moneymaker for a car dealership.

          And, if you wish to focus upon the seedy side of the business, it's USED auto finance where the lion's share ofl the bullshit and anti-consumer behavior occurs. THAT is worthy of the ongoing focus of this community, IMHO. (I could write a book on the tens of thousands of egregious transgressions against consumers that occur in this country on a weekly basis as far as that's concerned.)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:30:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They would still be needed (5+ / 0-)

          If it ever came to the point where Tesla's way of selling cars becomes the norm we would still need representatives of the different manufacturers to be present in a brick and mortar establishments for test drives and consultation about the different choices and options. I can't see the average American buying a car like they would a book or CD off Amazon. As a musician I would never consider buying a bass guitar without being able to play it and look it over physically.

        •  Keeping a useless (and obsolete) "industry" (5+ / 0-)

          alive simply to provide jobs?  The model for that might be whaling.
          Or maybe the "arms" industry... World peace will only put munitions workers out on the street.
          How about the "selfish scum", like me (and you?) that book my own flights on-line, forcing some poor travel agent's kids to sell girl scout cookies to pay for their weekend at camp?
          If you want to support car salesmen out of pity for their having chosen a dying profession, you have a few choices...
          You can continue to buy at dealerships;
          You can support the extension of unemployment insurance and related re-training programs;
          You can hire them if you own your own business or are able to do so in your own job capacity;
          or, being so affluent that you can (admittedly) afford to pay a hefty mark-up to a middleman, you can certainly afford to just send an equivalent amount each year to a Car Salesmen's Benevolent Society, and just cut out the dealerships' OWNERS, who seem do be doing quite well, and probably wouldn't suffer too badly if forced to "retire".  If you have enough company in your logic, certainly they'll do just fine.

        •  Even Tesla has local stores. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nosmiley

          This is what was discussed at the beginning of the article.  They still need a dealer/distributor for those cars, a place where customers can examine the merchandise.

          Traditional car dealers do not operate like book stores, as you don't have to sit down with a book dealer to arrive at the highest price he can get from you without losing the sale.  Car dealerships should behave like other retail establishments (e.g., computer stores, where there is a variety of options) with fixed prices based on what the customer orders.  It is my understanding that this is Tesla's model.  

          I can understand why this would threaten car dealers and salespersons.  Dealers' associations exist in all large markets, and these entities are generally well connected politically.  Ironically, those same politicians who tend to be cozy with these dealers and are opposing Tesla's stores are the same folks who are opposed to regulations - just another example of conservative hypocrisy.

        •  Having to adapt (0+ / 0-)

          to a changing economy is A-OK if you're a working stiff but Armageddon if you're an industry?  Fck that noise. Working people are continually told to re-train and learn a new skill, now that their job in manufacturing or whatever has been shipped out.  I know a number of people who had to train their replacements - they were losing their jobs regardless, on some indefinite date that would come with little notice, but if they failed to train their replacements they lost the job immediately along what little severance pay they were entitled to.

          We're being screwed regardless, and perpetuating mirages to the contrary does not alter that fact.  If we're going to be stuck with a "free market", then let's have one "without the base alloy of hypocrisy" and let the chips fall where they may.  I doubt it could be any worse than what we've got.

  •  The dealers use the same (15+ / 0-)

    bamboozle, baffle, snowjob tactics in politics as they do at the negotiating table. They are incoherent by gum and they are indignant. Yessir, very very indignant. Don't matter if it makes no sense as long as it makes the sale. A lotta $$ dropped into politicians campaign funds helps out too.

    •  I came into a little money and decided for the (8+ / 0-)

      first time in my life I would buy something other than the cheapest Chevy.  I looked and looked on-line and finally decided on one of the cheaper Mercedes, all the while e-mailing back and forth about it with a salesman.  He was very informative, polite, a good writer and a retired teacher.  No bamboozle.  We made an appointment, went for a test drive, and I bought the car that day.  No trouble at the time or since.  The car is six years old and has never needed anything but standard maintenance and the two dealer shops I've dealt with have been honest and efficient.  I don't know that that is a typical experience, but it could be, if dealers wanted satisfied customers.  All the dealers have to do is hire polite, educated sales personnel and stay out of the sales arrangements themselves.  They also need a good product and pro-customer maintenance departments.
      Direct purchase is also a great idea, and I think legislative efforts to discourage or forbid it are not constitutional.

       

      Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

      by hawkseye on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 03:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see how they can be Constitutional, either (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, Jay C, hawkseye

        , except for one circumstance: legislative support for a contractual relationship where one party has the power to run right through the other.

        That, however, would not apply to Tesla, which has no dealerships and hence no contractual arrangements.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:19:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Glad you had a good experience (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, Jay C, Calamity Jean, drklassen

        I only wish your salesman was head of the dealership association in Ohio, NJ, etc. An informative, polite teacher could figure out that legislating the competition away is corrupt.

      •  Didn't haggle? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DonMahoney

        See, if you're willing to pay sticker price, yeah, you don't have to play the whole "well, let me run this by the sales manager...but I don't think he'll go for it..." crap.

        And if you just pay sticker price, you know you are paying more than what you could actually get it for.

        •  You are correct, and I didn't haggle. The car was (0+ / 0-)

          "on sale" that spring, and it seemed to me it was already a good price.  There may have been room to haggle, but I'm not skilled at that.

          Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

          by hawkseye on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:26:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They Rip Manufacturer's Face Off Too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      The NJ lobbyist was on MSNBC touting the need to handle recall work, after all, we're talking about safety right?Always ready to pull out the safety veto... children are dying!

      What utter bullshit!  Recalls are initiated by the manufacturer and the service dept at the dealerships (the real profit center) RIPS OFF the manufacturer.  It's payday and baby needs a new pair of shoes on recall work!  The time markup is double - a half hour job gets billed out at at least an hour.  Same with warrantee work.

      But if Ford, GM, and Chrysler wanted to go the last mile and deal with the general public in dealerships, don't you think they could have done it... oh sometime in the last 70 years or so?

  •  When do you get yours, or did you get it already (5+ / 0-)

    Markos? IIRC, you were in the market for one.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:11:49 AM PDT

    •  Your Tesla, that is. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:12:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was in the Tesla store in White Plains, NY (10+ / 0-)

        on Saturday. They said the economy car is on the way and I wasn't the first to ask about a pickup.

        Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

        by FrY10cK on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:40:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An electric truck would be a great thing. (7+ / 0-)

          Too bad the technology is still so expensive.

          Electric motors give maximum torque at lowest rpms.  Lots and lots of grunt down low -- the very definition of what you want in a working truck.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:20:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Apparently, you and I disagree with a whole market (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, drklassen

            segment of NSCAR-watching Americans who want pickups with five litre V-8's and low-profile racing tires on 22" rims. With spinners.

            WTF?

            Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

            by FrY10cK on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:36:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe that you are assuming a lot. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zinman

              Don't forget that most people's experience with electric cars is with golf carts and might-as-well-be golf carts.

              You could count the Prius as an electric care if you wish, but I don't see that helping matters much.

              Let somebody build a truck that is the Tesla S of trucks and we can see what everybody wants.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:45:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Those are not (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hannibal, dinotrac, JohnnySacks, JerryNA

              working trucks. Note that Ford's Eco-Boost V6 is quickly gaining converts among the trailer hauling and work truck segment, who enjoy the combination of V8-like power when on the boost, and six-cylinder economy numbers in normal driving.

              "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

              by happy camper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:51:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Euro-Diesel on the Way (0+ / 0-)

                I want a truck that will get good mileage and last over a decade.  Those turbocharged ECO-boost gas engines simply aren't going to cut it long term in the big league.  Dodge had the smarts to put a Cummins in-line six diesel in theirs.  Indestructible work-horse, unfortunately a VERY expensive option.

                GM's been selling a 2.8L diesel overseas but we've got to wait until 2015 model year to get one in a small truck.  Hopefully they won't screw it up, but GM has done a pretty shitty job with marketing (and temporarily cancelling - WTF?) their small Colorado truck (more $$$ in the behemoth jurassic Sierra model line pigs )

                •  Problems with diesel... (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, they last forever, and they get good mileage, but maintenance is more expensive--an oil change on the Cummins is about $150--and in my neck of the woods, diesel fuel runs 60-70 cents a gallon more than gas. Plus, as you mentioned, the initial cost is very high--the 6.6L diesel is a $7200 option in a Chevy truck.

                   

                  "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                  by happy camper on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:39:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A few notes on that...which explain why I am (0+ / 0-)

                    a big diesel home this weekend:

                    1. Maintenance items are more expensive, but overall maintenance costs may not be.  Depends on your disel.

                    2. Diesel vs gas costs vary around the country. Here in North Texas, the difference is about twenty cents. What needs to be remembered is that diesel fuel has something like 30% more energy than gasoline, so...evening things out, a $4.00 gallon of gasoline would be equivalent to $5.20 diesel.

                    3. Gasoline and Diesel engines are very different under load. Diesels tend to deliver mas torque and HP at much lower rpm than gasoline engines. If you need to pull heavy loads, diesel will be much more efficient than gasoline.

                    The environmental kicker:

                    4a:  We can live without gasoline more easily than we can live without diesel. Diesel fuel is more or less just kerosene.  Ditto for jet fuel.  Military tanks, jet airliners, and some portion of the heavy haulers and heavy machinery being used today are likely to remain in use, so diesel production, transport, and infrastructure will stick around.

                    4b: But the good news is that diesels are fuel whores.  You've seen the stories of folks who collect waste grease from restaurants to power their diesel vehicles -- lots and lots of biological oils can power up a diesel with just a little bit chemical massage.  You can wring a fair piece of diesel fuel out of much less land than it takes for, say, ethanol  You still might prefer to see most of your vehicles running on electric, running biodiesel can be mighty clean and carbon-neutral.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:24:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm Hoping Consumer Grade is Less $$$ (0+ / 0-)

                    Pricing has not been released yet (to my knowledge).  I know Chrysler is putting an eco diesel in their Ram, but who in their right mind needs that oversized pig at the consumer level?  At the smaller end, the purchase isn't such a delusional waste for general consumer duty.  For now, it's Tacoma and Frontier, no amount of beer during football could bring on enough stupid to buy full sized.

          •  Electric delivery trucks may open the way (6+ / 0-)

            In applications that require frequent stopping and starting, they are clearly superior to internal combustion engine (ICE) powered trucks. In an urban or suburban environment, distances are short and frequent stopping and starting in traffic or for deliveries does not harm them as it does ICE powered vehicles. They emit no pollution in the process, something that is a big plus. With only short and predictable ranges of travel required, they don't need giant expensive batteries because their batteries can be sized to fit the requirement.

            Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

            by Zinman on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:39:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And trains! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zinman, JerryNA, dinotrac

              Trains are diesel electric; the ICE charges batteries (the way the Volt works) so they are perfect for long-haul.

              So, all electric for the distribution-center-to-sales-point movement, and trains for long-distance.  End over-the-road trucking.  We save big time on GHG emissions, and road repair.

          •  For those of you interested in clean tech and EVs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            I recommend a site that has daily news on solar, wind, tidal, wave energy and all sorts of the latest research on batteries and storage. It also deals with all the EVs out there including commercial carriers and motorcycles, even bikes.

            I don't work for them, I just love the site because it gives me a ray of hope when most of the news I get in my inbox is about yet another oil spill, the latest dire warnings about climate change, or what animal has been placed on the endangered species list today.

            Climate change is depressing and sometimes ( who am I kidding...it's more like daily) I get discouraged, then I read about the latest discoveries in the clean tech field and I can almost see the sun at the end of the tunnel

            We just might survive this after all!

            http://www.CleanTechnica.com.

        •  I may not have been clear. (0+ / 0-)

          Pickups with low profile Pirellis on racing rims and 0-60 times under 7 seconds are an obscene waste of resources. Goggle "Alberta tar sands" and look at the pictures for more info.

          Hauling loads efficiently might be an ideal use for Tesla tech along with building sports cars.

          Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

          by FrY10cK on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:29:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Excessive regulation" (18+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of thing honest people are talking about when they talk about market-distorting government regulation.

    Democrats can appeal to consumers and claim the "deregulation" mantle by opposing ripoffs like the auto dealer protection laws.

    Doing so may build up some political capital that can be used to pass and keep vital regulations like those we used to have on banks and on storing toxic chemicals near drinking water.

    Anyone considering a dog for personal safety should treat that decision as seriously as they would buying a gun.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:12:25 AM PDT

  •  That is a nice looking little car. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, BlueJessamine, Aunt Pat

    I'd love to test-drive one!

  •  And they give heavily to Republicans. (20+ / 0-)

    They are the first stop for any Republican looking to run for Sherriff. I couldnt feel any problems whatsoever in seeing them all put out of business.

  •  Republican unity on this issue is crumbling. (21+ / 0-)

    Both Marco Rubio and Rick Perry have recently come out for Tesla against the auto dealers.

    “It’s an established product,” Rubio told CNBC. “Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need, especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.”
    ...
    Perry said Texas should revisit its ban on direct sales of Teslas.

    “I think it’s time for Texans to have an open conversation about this, the pros and the cons,” he said on Fox Business over the weekend. “I’m gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.”

    The article speculates that both of them are preparing to use this in a potential primary battle with the anti-Tesla Chris Christie.
  •  now where are those lottery tickets.... (16+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:23:20 AM PDT

    •  That's one of my (16+ / 0-)

      one dollar dreams.

      The S comes in an all-wheel-drive model with adjustable suspension. 250 miles per charge. I really don't care that it goes 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. I don't drive like that. But no gas? No oil stains? No loud exhaust?

      Yeah. I already got my Powerball ticket for Saturday night.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:08:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to wait until I move somewhere an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        electric car will make sense.  Just hoping my 11 year old car will last that long.

      •  A whole lot more than no gas (16+ / 0-)

        1. No tank = no evaporative emissions
        2. Tesla will come to you to repair your car
        3. Software updates over-the-air
        4. No clutch or transmission = no costly repair  (my current car, the Prius has this)
        5. Regenerative braking = massively reduced brake pad replacement  (I'm still on my original after 10 years on my Prius)
        6. No engine = less moving parts = fewer trips to the mechanic.

        A Tesla is still a car, so it's particulate profile by using 4 tires for, often just a single person is still bad (compared to a bus or rail), but it's a huge step forward in reducing the footprint of the oil industry.

        --
        Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

        by sacrelicious on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:38:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It does have a transmission actually (4+ / 0-)

          It's a fixed gear transmission, but like all EVs, it does have one, contrary to popular belief. And some of the multi-speed transmissions being developed for EVs do offer a nice big improvement in energy efficiency, something badly needed.

          First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

          by Hannibal on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:23:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  See, here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA

          kos says

          And that's the way forward: let manufacturers decide how they sell their cars, and transform themselves into pure service operations. But of course, 44 percent is less than 100 percent, so those dealerships will continue to use their lobbying power to distort the market and force consumers to use a service no longer needed.
          and then who services Tesla cars? Only Tesla themselves, right now. I also don't care a whole lot about who sells the cars. But if kos wants to use the Apple example, Apple products are practically unserviceable. There's a secret guide on how to replace the battery on an iPhone (pull the glue pad out, cut it in two and rip it out both ways underneath), but the only reliable way to replace it on a MacBook is to replace the whole outer panel.

          I don't care about the retail side, but we need to preserve, by law if necessary, an independent service ecosystem. And I'd rather preserve, for now, the people with the clout to push for that when it comes right down to it than have the vast majority of products I have to buy or invest in be sold and serviced direct from the manufacturer, at rent-seeking you-already-bought-it monopoly lock-in rates. The alternative to a competitive service economy is an economy of monopoly rent-seeking "utilities". I don't want to buy the Ma Bell of computers, the Comcast of cars, the Comcast of...

          Software updates over-the-air are bullshit for a car. I don't want that kind of risk in a product I buy, even if I trust the company. As a computer professional, I don't even allow automatic OTA updates on my phone; what makes you think I'd allow that on my car?

          I nearly HRed the tip jar for this dishonesty, and the lack of understanding of basic economics in the face of this Silicon Valley snake oil. The only reason I didn't leave the HR in place is that kos seems to understand the importance of the independent service model, despite that his Valley role models seem to want to crush it at every turn.

          I don't read Daily Kos to get a mirror of the latest editorials from TechCrunch (in fact, I have techcrunch.com aliased to 127.0.0.1 on all my primary computers, though for the past couple weeks they've gotten some good scoops and I've had to temporarily undo that; still doesn't outdo this kind of bullshit along with their also recent editorial advocacy for right-wing politics).

          •  Your angst is misdirected (0+ / 0-)

            Your comparison of Tesla to Apple w/r/t service is a bit of a strawman.  Apple makes repairs for their products challenging or impossible in order to increase the likelihood that you'll just upgrade to the newest version.  Tesla's Musk, on the other hand, is on record as stating that Tesla is committed to ensuring that service is NOT a profit center.  They only want to price it to ensure they don't lose money.

            Musk:

            "I've told the Tesla service division that their job is never to make a profit," Musk said. Most auto dealerships make a large portion of their profits from the service department which, Musk pointed out, creates a conflict of interest when it comes to product quality.

            "I hate the idea of making money because our product broke," said Musk. "That's just wrong."

            The profits Tesla makes on the Model S and Model X are being funneled into the R&D for their economy version (sometimes unofficially referred to as the "Model E") due out in 3 years.  Smaller sedan, 200+ miles of range, ~$35,000.  That's his vision...0-emission electric vehicles for the entire world.  

            Musk wants to disrupt the oil-dominated auto industry (he has succeeded) and prove that American engineering and manufacturing can produce one of the safest, most advanced and truly inspiring cars in the world that ALSO happen to be 0-emission vehicles.

            And as an IT professional as well, I can tell you that your distrust of Tesla's over-the-air updates to the car's software is completely misplaced.  First of all, the core automotive components (the software that controls things like the drivetrain, battery cooling, and other core systems) are completely separated from the user interface updates that do things like add a button to the climate control or modify the car's Wi-fi features.  The bits that gets updated OTA are just GUI bits, and the car continues to run on the separate, critical core OS even when that is shut off/rebooted.  (Believe me, I tested this.)  This is the world's safest car designed to date, and the same team of engineers that run SpaceX know a thing or two about safety and updating critical systems.

            You can call that "Silicon Valley snake oil" if you want, but that's misplaced.

            Tesla is a fantastic progressive company, their product is phenomenal and a world-class success story, and their goals are very similar to ours.  You should consider giving them another look.

          •  Answer: Don't buy a Tesla (0+ / 0-)

            Tesla hans't monopolized any market - even the small, emergent EV market.  You have plenty of options. Just like with Apple - you're free to buy a Lenovo or Dell.

            You seem to think that kos's opinions and the general prevailing opinion of DK or TC or whatever need to fit your views entirely.  That's a recipe for disappointment and frustration.

            HR'ing a tip jar is extremely rude, btw.  Not recommended if you want to participate in civilized discussion here.

            --
            Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

            by sacrelicious on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 03:13:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  No it does not. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, grover, Gentle Giant, DonMahoney
        The S comes in an all-wheel-drive model
      •  That's actually one reason it's a bad product for (7+ / 0-)

        dealers.  Dealers don't make most of their money selling cars. They make most of their money selling "service". A car with no oil changes, air filters, exhaust, radiator, etc is bad for business -- if you're a car dealer.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:26:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You'd be happy (0+ / 0-)

        to know Tesla is building a chain of charger stations across America where it will be possible to recharge every 250 miles or so for FREE and it only take 1 1/2 hrs to recharge.

        43 House Republicans want to sue Barack Obama for being President.

        by Geardup on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:18:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's the new X class... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, grover, Aunt Pat, dinotrac

      Their SUV.  Gull-wing doors.  Available dual electric motors.  0-60 in under 5 seconds.  Da-rule, Da-rule.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:02:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tesla Owner (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover

      It's as wonderful as they say it is.  To drive it is to love it. (We drove the same Volvo for 22 years before my hubby decided that he wanted an upgrade.)  There might be a point where Tesla would utilize independent distributors (dealers) but it's really outrageous that they would be required to.  We bought ours in D.C., but you can't test drive one in Virginia, where we live, because they don't have dealers.

      We still have the Volvo because we brought our kids home from the hospital in it and we don't want to give it up.  

      •  What color did you get? (0+ / 0-)

        With what interior?

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:44:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Soon-To-Be Owner (0+ / 0-)

          Pearl White Model S on order, with the 85kwh battery. Standard microfiber interior.

          There's a VIN number for it already, even though it's not yet on the assembly line. And insurance is less than I'm currently paying.

          Been waiting for this vehicle for 35 years...

  •  Market Disruption (23+ / 0-)

    They can only hold out for so long.  Fuck these guys... their 20th century industry is circling the bowl.

    They can join travel agents, Blockbuster store managers, record store owners and paperboys in the "We used to have those?" category.

    Hopefully real estate agents, cab drivers and cable companies soon join them.

    Seriously, fuck these guys and their rigged-game protected profits.  

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:28:12 AM PDT

    •  They have the outlets. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal, drklassen

      The manufacturers could grandfather them in- make them company men, if they'd go along.

      They could even continue the lame commercials.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:09:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't include record store owners (6+ / 0-)

      LP sales are through the roof, year over year for the last 5 years. The independent record store actually is holding ground due to the still superior sound quality available from LP.

      My small city of 100,000 supports 6 thriving, independent record stores.

      If you're talking about the big boxes that deal in digital (Tower, Virgin, HMV, etc) yeah, they're having troubles. CDs are small enough to be easily mailed, and if you don't care about packaging, you can't download straight away.

      But independent LP stores are going strong.

      If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

      by cultjake on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:34:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Travel (0+ / 0-)

      agents are sales people for travel companies.  Airlines have been losing money since they got rid of their unpaid sales force.  

      I sold airline tickets for years.  I wish I could still call someone up who could compare all the airline prices in a market in a matter of minutes and give me a flight and price that matched my needs.  Now I have to go to numerous airline websites or some consolidator like kayak who makes me pore through web page after web page to make sure I saw all my options and got the best price.  

      All something I could do in a matter of moments back before they forced TA and the general public to adopt fill in the blank pages instead of elegant boolean equations that TA used before the internet to compile information.  And TA did not charge the clients any more than buying a ticket from the airline itself.

      "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

      by Kevskos on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:03:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Photo-processers. (0+ / 0-)

      You missed the photo industry.

      43 House Republicans want to sue Barack Obama for being President.

      by Geardup on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:24:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  America wont function right if certain people (15+ / 0-)

    (who are often already rich) cant make shitloads of money without working.

    And middlemen aren't really working. They are riding the coattails of everybody else's labor.

    Totally scumbaggery.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:28:16 AM PDT

  •  Why (5+ / 0-)

    Manufacturers would then have a vertical monopoly which could result in consumers paying higher prices.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:35:11 AM PDT

    •  Unless they wanted their cars to sell, of course. (12+ / 0-)

      You could as well argue that it would result in lower prices.

      Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

      by Bob Love on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  History indicates that there's less (6+ / 0-)

        price flexibility when the manufacturer is also the retailer.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:48:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Some people say..." (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burlydee, gustynpip, davidincleveland, BYw

          that you should provide links.

          History shows nothing without fact-checked evidence.

          “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

          by ozsea1 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:02:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a principle of economics (3+ / 0-)

            though disputed depending on the market.

            The point is, it's not as black and white as a lot of people make it seem.  And it's not simply a matter of dealers' political influence.  There are legitimate reasons for wanting to separate manufacturers and retailers.

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:14:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Some people say..." (5+ / 0-)

            We're an uneducated society.  The risk of vertical integration should be a commonly held understanding of an educated society.  Doesn't mean everyone should be an economist but they should understand what it means.  Here is a link to a simple explanation.  Like most things it's not really that simple but it's good enough for internet experts.

            Few Examples of Past Vertical Integration:
            Oil
            Transportation
            Telephone

            Vertical Integration

            That being said I like the Tesla model and despise auto dealers. But doing away with auto dealerships brings on a whole host of other issues. Mostly the money sucked out of the local economy and going to shareholders.  Likely something in between will evolve.  

            If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

            by thestructureguy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:28:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are forgetting some confounders (6+ / 0-)

          Like the fact that higher prices would come from vertically integrated companies only if there is a large amount of differentiation from other products on the market (or monopolistic features)

          I looked at 8 different car models within 10% of each other in price before settling. The only way they could increase prices to consumers is by colluding with each other, which, at present time, is still illegal.

          There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

          by cbabob on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:47:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Competition. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, JerryNA

          There are other car manufacturers --including luxury car makers -- right on Tesla's tail making cars that are cheaper, or that should have better range or that may have other desirable options.

          Tesla may be the only Tesla retailer; but within a year or few, there will be serious competition: even hardcore Tesla fans may stop and look around before committing to the next model.

          Musk is a smart businessman first, long before being a "car guy." I doubt he'll let the competition out price him.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:21:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm interested (0+ / 0-)
            There are other car manufacturers --including luxury car makers -- right on Tesla's tail making cars that are cheaper
            What BEV is even close to the S within the next three years?
            •  Audi, BMW, likely Porsche. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JerryNA

              These also have gas tanks and are technically hybrids. But they plug in and run on electricity most of the time.

              Am I a fan of hybrids? Not really.

              But a lot of potential buyers have range insecurity or live in areas where even Tesla's supercharger network doesn't reach. Hybrids make sense for these sorts of consumers.

              I'm a Tesla fan. You'd never catch me buying a BMW ever. AUdi's range, however, is pretty impressive. Musk, I'm sure has noticed it too;  and I'm positive his engineers as well  There WILL be a Tesla battery to come close to that range. It will be an pricy upgrade at first. But it will exist in the near-ish future.

              And then eventually, it will be standard equipment as customers expect more.

              Competition does that.

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:41:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, but... (0+ / 0-)

                I'm thinking when you stick to BEVs only, you are at least three years from anyone competing with:

                A  BEV that can carry 7 and can be driven across the USA.

                For Free.

                •  I haven't seen a Model X prototype yet. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JerryNA

                  So I can't opine on it. If you have, I'd love to know more about it.

                  "Carry 7" when speaking about the Model S is very generous. The optional  jumpseats are dinky and the size of children you can put in them is limited. Plus you have to follow certain steps to manage airflow to that back area, steps that I'm not sure will work in all weather and environment conditions.

                  And Rapid Supercharger service isn't free unless you buy the most expensive model of Model S.  You buy it as a package when you buy your car.  

                  A properly equipped Model S can charge for free at any Supercharger once enabled, unlike gas stations that require you to pay for each fill-up. Supercharging is included in every Model S with an 85 kWh battery, and can be added to any 60 kWh Model S for $2,000, or $2,500 if enabled after delivery. Simply pull up and plug in, take a quick bathroom or food break, and get back on the road.
                  http://www.teslamotors.com/...

                  I guess, maybe, it depends on your definition of free. But adding $2000 to the purchase price of your car, plus tax, isn't free to me. It's a really cool service. But it's something that Tesla customers have paid for.

                  © grover


                  So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                  by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:34:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  see: all Apple products (nt) (3+ / 0-)
  •  My local chicken wing take-out supports (12+ / 0-)

    Little League teams.  As do local pizza places.

    Car dealerships aren't monopolies when it comes to such.

    Does Apple support Little League teams where they have stores?  How about Amazon, which sells items you can often find locally?

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:38:25 AM PDT

    •  Supporting Little League is marketing, not charity (18+ / 0-)

      My kids' youth sports leagues have sponsorships from local pizza places, sporting goods stores, etc.  Those sponsorships are very good investments for the businesses -- parents buy their kids' sports equipment at those stores and take their kids out for pizza after their games.

      "Supporting Little League" is marketing.  It's not charity.

      Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:45:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree and never thought otherwise (4+ / 0-)

        Of course, taking that reality-based tack, the dealership argument is shown to be even more disingenuous.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:48:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Trust me, MJB, (13+ / 0-)

        if you saw the team my younger son played on in his second year, you'd KNOW it was charity.

        "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Gentle Giant on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:11:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of my kids' teams isn't that good, either (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, Gentle Giant, JerryNA

          But us parents are buying their equipment at the sporting goods stores and taking the kids for pizza after the games.  

          The ROI on those sponsorships is very good.

          Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

          by MJB on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:02:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The team I speak of won 1 game all season long- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DonMahoney

            against the 1st place team.
            Their pitcher had gone into premature puberty and stood about 5'8" to the others' 4'10" or so. He was deadly accurate and purposely beaned my son, sending him in a shaken state to 1st base.
            I complained to their coach, a friend & coworker who I carpooled with, that this was little league, not the majors, and got a shrug.
            So I had a little word with my son, telling him the pitcher had done it to spook him and he just HAD to get a hit next up to show him it didn't work.
            The next at bat for my son was the only home run he had that season. It was an in-the-park home run. The outfield was so used to not having to field anything they were caught daydreaming. By the time they scooped up the ball & threw to second, Brian had rounded the base. The second baseman was so bewildered, he threw the ball into the stands, about 5' over the third baseman.
            Brian's team won by one run.
            Being a first place team in Little League means that when you lose to a pathetic last place team, you complain a LOT and loudly. Then you start pointing fingers at your teammates.
            My buddy had a lot on his hands after that game.

            "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by Gentle Giant on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:50:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Of course that just raises the question... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, JerryNA

      ...why are local businesses doing this?  If a community thinks that kids sports are that important, the local community can simply institute a tax, spread the cost out to everyone in very small amounts, pool the resources, and fund it all.

      I don't get the whole model of "we have to protect the rich folks because of their charity".  We don't need, nor should we be beholden to, their (ideas of!) charity.

      •  Right, the theme is a lie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        The rich are not general society's supporters - that's supposed to be our government's reuse of tax dollars.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a chance to outflank the Rethugs (12+ / 0-)

    on the issue of free markets!

    If brick and mortar bookstores have been destroyed by Amazon, why should brick and mortar auto dealers be protected by the government.

  •  I still remember every reptilian sleazeball I ever (10+ / 0-)

    dealt with on a car lot. Selling cars in America is truly the business model from Hell as far as consumers are concerned. You'll encounter a better class of people on an average Sat night in your local jail or drug den.

    •  I'm a Subaru entusiast, as are a few of my (0+ / 0-)

      friends. We haven't had those sleazy experiences at Subaru dealers. The product pretty much sells itself.

      "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:12:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I ordered a 2015 WRX (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant

        at my local Subaru dealer and they didn't seem too sleazy. I like to think I got a decent deal on it, we'll see how everything goes once I take delivery and require service, this would be my first Subie so I don't have prior experience with this dealer.

        Hopefully the car should be here in a few weeks, it's been a long wait.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:34:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it's super-charged, watch your red-lining. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koosah, Aquarius40

          I've had a Forester and two Outbacks. Great cars in the snow. Reliable. Rarely need service. SAFE.

          On a very foggy morning, I rolled my Forester into a 6' deep drainage ditch. It landed on the front right corner and flopped upside down. No.roof.crush. The only window that broke was passenger right in the cargo department. My tool box went through it. Didn't have a scratch on me.

          I wish I'd kept the 6-disc cd changer out of it. Live and learn.

          "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Gentle Giant on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My last purchase of a new car (11 years ago) (6+ / 0-)

          had me thinking I got a great deal - and I did, but not because of the dealership; they had no choice in the matter.  I was pretty happy about the four "free" oil changes I got, too.  It was funny, though.  I only used 3 of the "free" oil changes because of those, I never walked out of the dealership with a bill of less than $100.  They always found something that needed doing urgently - on a brand new car.  What a scam that was.  But I did get free cookies every time I brought it in, so . . .

    •  Both of my older brothers sold cars (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrTerwilliker, drklassen, JerryNA

      They were the number one and number two salesmen almost every month at a large dealer for several years in their 20's.  One of them went back to it later in life when he couldn't get anything better (he drives a truck these days).

      They agree with you.  

      Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

      by benamery21 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:36:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Horsebuggy Whip Makers demand Wooden Hangers! (11+ / 0-)

    So I guess it's unfair Etsy allows people to directly sell the clothes they produce instead of going to JC Pennys or Wiener's.

    How delightfully two-faced and always the last gasp of antiquated business models.

    Contrary to popular belief, zombies are quite intelligent and excel in anagrams.

    by Patience John on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:05:15 PM PDT

  •  You're naive if you think the manufacturers won't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, cville townie

    pocket the few extra grand by cutting out the middleman.

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:07:39 PM PDT

    •  So? That doesn't mean the middleman should (6+ / 0-)

      be legally entitled to his cut.

      •  The "middleman" in this case just becomes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sweatyb, cville townie

        employees.  Still have to have the infrastructure to get autos to people. People to educate buyers and make the transaction.  Managers of those people.  Repair facilities.  Ect. Everything you need now except the profit that would have remained local would go to shareholders.  The 1 percenters would love it.  Oh, and people will pay the prices points now on cars so you won't see a reduction in prices.  What we'd get is cars with a sticker price that isn't negotiable.  I'm not opposed to this model but it's not without some downsides.  The risks of vertical integration for one.  

        If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

        by thestructureguy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:44:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My long held theory on auto dealers (13+ / 0-)

    I have opined for many years to my one friend who cares about such matters that auto dealers are one of the most powerful political groups in the country.

    The reason isn't their overall strength or size, it's that they're positioned, almost uniquely, to be able to have influence at every level of government.

    Individual dealers are able to have a large influence in their communities and make big contributions to local, state and some federal politicians. Their state groups are big enough to have a major influence on state governments — as Christie recently demonstrated — and be major donors to state and federal politicians. And their national group is big enough to do some decent lobbying at the federal level.

    I'm not sure how many other groups have that kind of reach.

    •  Absolutely on the local/state influence (5+ / 0-)

      Also of note: Ever notice that local print and television media are packed full of auto dealer advertising? A typical 30-minute news cast has at least half a dozen car spots and the daily paper has full pages of car ads, if not a full section of the classifieds.

      Meanwhile, notice how despite the near-universal sentiment that car dealers are sleazy they remain relatively unmolested by local news outlets? Your typical local television news affiliate just loves its “investigative journalism” gotcha segments wherein they expose and embarrass crooks and sleazebags but you almost never see them on a car dealer’s lot. There is too much ad revenue at stake. I don’t think the dealers’ primary motive is to buy journalistic silence but the way they spread money around, it’s a nice fringe benefit for them.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:33:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Reason Ohio Still Votes D for President is (0+ / 0-)

    all the economic inefficiency Ohio unions have retained built into the state economy, such as getting Kasich's tea party 2011 anti union legislation repealed by the biggest tea party defeat that's ever been inflicted anywhere.

    Look we don't need either dealers or Tesla or Detroit. Wal Mart can sell Hundais direct across the country, and the whole remaining midwest middle class America can go fuck itself.

    The Democrats' failures to stand for the economy of the 90% is why we had 2010 and it's why 2014 could equal or exceed that outcome.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:25:31 PM PDT

  •  Auto dealers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluesee, gustynpip

    are people, my friend.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

  •  So it's okay that Tesla is non-union? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy

    I never thought I'd see "liberals" go to the mat for a non-union car company.  

    Special favors for non-union employers.   Change we can believe in.  So glad we crashed those gates.  

    I guess this is part of that "Libertarian Democrat" bullshit.

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:33:20 PM PDT

  •  Auto dealers are protected, at least in Illinois, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    but a bunch of special statutes and special exemptions.  I'm not surprised to hear that direct sales are outlawed.

    The dossier on my DKos activities during the Bush administration will be presented on February 3, 2014, with an appendix consisting an adjudication, dated "a long time ago", that I am Wrong.

    by Inland on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:42:11 PM PDT

  •  Also the fact that they have an almost (4+ / 0-)

    monopoly-like power when it comes to Servicing and Parts that keeps most Vehicle Repair Shops locked out Servicing and Repairing newer Vehicles is something that should be pointed out,think of how much lower repair cost would be if people could take their vehicles to places other than Dealerships like they have to now and get parts from Auto Parts places cheaper but that can't stock many kinds of parts now cause they can only be gotten at Dealerships,even still for old cars as I have over the years found out a few times when trying to get a part and the guy behind the counter told me the only places to get that part was the junk-yard or the Dealership so I went to the Auto-Salvage Yard.

    •  That's not really the reason. (0+ / 0-)

      There are millions of different auto parts. No 3rd party auto parts store can or would stock and sell all of them. Most dealers stock half or less of all the parts pertaining to their manufacturer and order the rest as needed. Smaller dealers have even less.

      For vehicles under warranty, some parts are restricted to ensure that warranty repairs are performed by qualified mechanics. The same thing for recalls.

      If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:10:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Dealers are REALLY worried about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HedwigKos, T Maysle

    See the Dealer is NOT an arm of GM or Ford or anybody except in very rare instances. So you have GM or Ford dictating to dealers what and how to do things (gotta keep the stellar reputation of Car Dealers intact!) for example - a dealer has a Cadillac Escalade whose quarter panels and doors are full of water. The sunroof drain channels leaked (because they were made wrong and were too short allowing water to drain into the roof, down the sides and begin filling up the sides of the car). To actually FIX the problem would mean replacing parts and a huge labor cost to rip apart the roof, tear off the old parts and attach ones that are the correct length. But GM will not compensate the dealer to do that. So the Dealer is instructed to slam the part back in place, drain and dry, and send the owner on his way. Then GM pays the dealer for 3 hours work even if it took the mechanics 5 or 6 hours. The Mechanics get paid by the hour. Wonder who gets the shaft here? THe Mechanics are told - you get 4 hours pay and that's it! SO the Mechanics skip a few things, don't have time to really correct the problem at all and drain but don't dry the doors etc. By the time it rusts through, the warranty is over and the owner has a big headache. Direct to consumer sales would mean (hopefully) a car maker would stand behind the product and the repairs and the quality. Fat Chance!

  •  I just visited the Tesla plant in Fremont, CA... (9+ / 0-)

    It's the old Numi Motors (Toyota/GM) that was originally built by Ford in the early mid 60's. I was able to speak with some of the employees. After asking them how they liked it there, all of them were thumbs up. I was on a tour and there was no payback to however they answered. They said that most of the people that they worked with are very happy. One added that those who were not happy there were not happy with their lives no matter where they were. That says a lot.

    As for auto dealers, Darryl Issa is an auto dealer. That in itself speaks volumes to the subject of this diary.

    As a third point, I am a small manufacturer. We sell our products direct via the internet. While we own a storefront, no one comes to our area as it's remote. However, we sell a lot on the web and have no need for distributors. We would have to raise the msrp on our products if we took on distributors.

    While not all republicans are bigots, all bigots are republicans.

    by Maximilien Robespierre on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:56:33 PM PDT

  •  I kinda want to be careful here... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, cville townie

    Although I agree that auto dealerships do not provide any value - I don't agree that the deregulation of middle men is always a win for consumers.  In Colorado, we have a law that states that no one business entity can own more than one liquor store.  The bad news is, you can't buy alcohol at almost all grocery stores.  Also, you can only buy branded alcohol - such as 2-Buck Chuck at one place in the state.  However, on balance, it is good for the consumer.  Each independently owned business has to offer something different in order to attract business.  That means lots of variety on Colorado beers and emerging Colorado spirit market.  If the big grocery chains could sell alcohol - they would push out lots of emerging small breweries and distilleries because they would force economies of scale.  In fact, Colorado's distribution laws go hand in hand with the growth in the beer and spirit industries.  Deregulation would bull-doze all of that.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:58:14 PM PDT

    •  I doubt it would harm small breweries (7+ / 0-)

      Craft breweries are gaining in a foothold in the market precisely because they DON'T offer a product that scales well. Brewing and marketing beer in the quantities of Anheuser Busch InBev and other brewing giants leads to a boring, predictable product that's being rejected by beer snobs like me in favor of craft brews. We enjoy and are willing to patronize these little companies.

      What's more harmful to craft breweries is the distribution model in states like Ohio, in which the brewery cannot sell directly to a restaurant down the street but must instead sell to a wholesaler. Laws like that make it more difficult to sell products beyond your own storefront.

      •  I specifically did not mention... (0+ / 0-)

        Distribution models - because I think in Colorado - distribution can be directly to the restaurants, bars and retail outfits.  New Belgium trucks are everywhere in Colorado and I believe the distribute more than just their products.

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

        by RichM on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:28:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not even your own storefront sometimes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, JerryNA

        In RI, it was a major political fight to let wineries sell bottles of their own wine to visitors at the winery itself -- the distributors lobby and the Teamster's union fought to prevent that.  You still can't buy kegs or growlers or bottles of beer at brewpubs, they can pour pints but anything leaving the premises must go through a distributor.

        Come to think of it, I think the RI craft breweries are all either brewpub-only or outside distribution-only, I can't think of one that both runs an on-site pub and that distributes, whether via keg or bottles.  State law might not allow doing both.

        •  So progressives need to become ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          riprof

          anti-union so as to fight the regressive laws the Teamsters and teacher's unions and others have gotten passed in various states. I know you're not necessarily proposing that, but that is the logical outcome of a truly free market. Any barrier that benefits only one group should be removed.

          If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

          by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:32:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're mixing apples and oranges here. Permitting (5+ / 0-)

      cars to be sold without a middleman has no relevance to a law that allows the ownership of only one liquor store.  Liquor licenses have always been subject to some rather bizarre rules, generally having been established to try and avoid organized crime from being involved.  

  •  reminds me of another completely unnecessary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, Odysseus, JerryNA

    industry that, by some accounts, sucks about $400 billion a year out of actual health care.

  •  I can't get the Mad Men "Jaguar" storyline out... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim

    of my head. Seems to sum-up the sleaziness of the dealer networks.
    ">

    "What's next?" - President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing

    by shaf on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:13:32 PM PDT

  •  scapegoating auto-dealers wont make cars cheaper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HedwigKos, statsone

    The reason auto-buying is an uncomfortable affair is because buying a car is a major investment. No matter how good a negotiator you are, if you buy a new car, you're parting ways with tens of thousands of dollars.

    Unless you're rich, that's going to be stressful and agonizing. And you're always going to drive off the lot feeling like you got the worse end of the deal. (Because they do it multiple times every day and you do it once a week. That doesn't change if the dealer's owned by the manufacturer.)

    The magic of Apple (and maybe Tesla, never been in their store) isn't getting rid of the middle-man, it's selling insanely marked up hardware while making their customers feel proud to have been ripped off. To this day I still have no idea how they do it.

    the first experience consumers have with their products is at decidedly unpleasant dealerships
    I guess... if you only go to dirty, unpleasant dealerships.

    Here's a quick car-buying tip: if you are in a dirty, unpleasant dealership, turn around and leave. You are not going to get a better deal because the place is a dump. Go down the road to another dealer. Go in there. Repeat until you find a dealership that you're comfortable doing business with.

  •  Adam Smith said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim, BYw, drklassen

    "People in the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment or diversion but it becomes a conspiracy against the public."

    Business people love competition in abstract.  But when they face actual competition their response is to throw up roadblocks.  Auto dealerships scarcely qualify as small businesses with their million dollar plus inventories.  I don't think it is very likely that even without the franchising laws, dealerships would disappear.

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 01:48:08 PM PDT

    •  For a dose of reality, read this article. (0+ / 0-)
      How do car dealers pay for the new cars on their lots? Well, car dealers often use financing to make their car purchases, much like individuals do. They purchase the cars from the manufacturers via a plan called "floor-plan financing." -- How Car Dealers Are Run

      If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have yet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R, drklassen

    to buy a new car and feel good about it afterwards. The process is just brutal to the consumer.

  •  How nice it would be if the blight of auto (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R, Odysseus

    dealerships were removed from the urban landscape!

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:14:24 PM PDT

  •  Picking winners (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R

    no wonder car dudes are republicans for the most part, they are in on the fix

  •  I think it's a slam-dunk... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T100R

    ...that companies should be able to sell their products however they like.  However, I don't think we're being sufficiently reflective about what this philosophy means across the board, e.g. when it comes to the NYC public schools firing their unionized bus drivers and bringing in non-union companies on a contractor basis.  In both cases the argument is that the purpose of the entity is to produce as efficiently as possible for the sake of the consumer.  Personally I was OK with NYC doing that, or at least I thought it was within its rights, but that's a minority opinion here.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:16:39 PM PDT

  •  I absolutely detest dealers when buying a car. (6+ / 0-)

    I've done all this research on the Internet, and asked friends, and I've probably ridden in one from a rental car on a business trip or whatever, and to me a car is much like buying an appliance. I want to order the darn thing off the Internet and pick it up.  

    You mean I've got to haggle with some dealer like a fish market in a 3rd world country? (Nothing against fish markets--the Mrs. SciFiGuy in our house loves to haggle in a foreign country over handwoven whatevers but I hate it). Like kos says, I hate to feel like I'm getting ripped off. Let me cut out the middle man on cars, just as we cut out the banks on student loans.

  •  Costco has "no haggle" price arrangements (6+ / 0-)

    but only with certain dealers on certain cars.  That's how I bought my last (new) car, and a key reason I chose that car over some others I considered.  Only downside was I didn't get my first choice in color, but that's a small tradeoff for NOT having to be insulted by salesmen who treat women customers as if we're idiots.
     

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:36:25 PM PDT

    •  There was a car I wanted, right color, (10+ / 0-)

      Right trim package.

      I told the dealer, I'll pay X for it. I'm not going to mess around. X is a very fair price. But I'm not going to play the game

      He was a complete jerk. His sales manager was a horrible chauvinist, suggested I bring my husband in so they could talk.

      I left.

      I called Costco program. They referred me to another dealer across town. The guy was really nice, apologized he didn't have exactly what I wanted in stock. "Oh," I said, there's one at ABC dealership."

      They arranged the transfer. I had my new car for $400 less than I had offered.

      The sales mgr at ABC called my husband to let him know that unfortunately, the car we wanted was gone, but they had others....

      I returned the call, told the guy that I had the car, was enjoying the heck out of it. Worked out great, really, because the other dealership had no issues dealing with a woman...

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 03:10:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Costco sells cars? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drklassen

      Other retailers? Why should cars just be sold through dealers? Why not through Target or K-Mart? or Charlie's Chicken and Chevy Shack?

  •  I thank God for car dealers. (5+ / 0-)

    Because I'm a lawyer.

    If it weren't for car dealers, us lawyers would be the people the public most hates.

    Damn Tesla!

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:41:02 PM PDT

  •  the free market (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    only exists in the minds of the people that spew propaganda that keeps the 99% in line with the status quo.

  •  Musings from TX (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

      First, everyone mocked Perry because he wants the battery plant, but won't let Tesla in to sell cars.  
       Next Perry is waffling - saying that maybe his vision of "free-market" was stuck back a few decades and TX needs an upgrade.
        Third - the get friendly meeting was in San Antonio, which is the bluest of the big cities and surrounding area...I can't wait to hear the TPer's whine if the battery plant comes to South Texas....as it sure would be better than fracking.

  •  Name one thing an auto dealer does (0+ / 0-)

    that adds value to the product for the consumer.

    Just one.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 03:07:43 PM PDT

    •  Value adds (might be more than just one): (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, drklassen

      1. Arrange financing for purchasers who can't or don't want to arrange their own

      2. Train customers on vehicle features such as entertainment and anti-theft devices

      3. Schedule service intervals and remind customers when service is due

      4. Help buyers discover and select options and option packages

      5. Allow test drives of multiple vehicles prior to purchase

      If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

      by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if the public agrees that that value added (5+ / 0-)

        is worth the hassle and the cost, then dealers have nothing to worry about in re competition from the Tesla sales model.

        I see the panic (and the protectionist demands) on the part of the dealers as being very telling, actually.

        •  The US is built on a system of protectionism. (0+ / 0-)

          Protected sales territories, exclusive distribution agreements, non-compete clauses, union work rules, limited access to education or licensing or markets, etc. Perhaps someday all that will all be dismantled and 10s of millions will lose their middle-class jobs.

          If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

          by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:22:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, DonMahoney, JerryNA

        Tesla's showroom locations do all this too. That's why dealers are freaking out.

        I have a great relationship with my Nissan dealers. Buying a car was a pleasure. They treated me great and when I moved, they transferred my records to another dealership who has also treated me great. Whatever I need, they take of me usually within 24 hours.

        If I were ever in the market for a smaller EV, I'd buy a Leaf, and I'd buy it from this dealership. I recommend them to others all the time.

        Good businesses can stand on their own.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 05:59:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And every one of those things.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA

        ... can be done by the manufacturer. Hm.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:34:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  the auto industry (0+ / 0-)

    along with their partner the oil corps are two reasons we can't get ourselves off of the dependence of fossil fuels and begin to save the planet we are destroying.

    but why save the environment when the 1% can live the life of luxury and leave the mess to future generations if there are any.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  Define middleman... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    statsone

    I spent a lot of years in the car business and you're still going to need someone in the 'pits' to walk a person through a deal and through the car, they can be very technical. And that involves a commission or something for the trouble, plus car buyers are the nastiest, rudest, demeaning group of consumers I have ever encountered. They are generally hated by all people involved in the transaction, from salesmen to service advisors to the insurance/finance brokers, it seems it's the one time that they feel they can act the part of being a complete asshole. They feel as if the cars come in free, or grow on the spot and whatever the price is, it's all profit. Until one has actually done it, it's hard to fathom the almost supernatural qualityy of it. Putting a retail price on the window will not have any real meaning. We tried it...didn't matter. They'll still kick ya in the nuts and jump over your desk if they think someone 9 miles away will make them save 4 dollars and 32 cents. Tesla is getting away with murder...if they can do it then GM/Ford and the rest better get busy. As for regarding car dealerships as 'bottom feeders' and 'the plague'...seriously? Have you talked to a mortgage broker or realtor lately? Right there you have the defininition of bottom feeder. Ever look at THEIR commissions? 6 percent of the WHOLE PRICE OF THE PROPERTY.  The most a dealer gets is maybe 8 percent of the GROSS PROFIT. Big difference...

  •  How does this work? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, T Maysle, Odysseus, JerryNA

    I can go to my credit union and buy direct through fleet services. Saturn (GM) used to sell direct.

    How is that any different than Tesla?

    And why are the middlemen (see: healthcare) ALWAYS allowed to have their way?

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 03:48:55 PM PDT

  •  I assume that a Tesla purchase generates sales tax (0+ / 0-)

    for the locale of the showroom. I dunno how it works elsewhere, but in California, cities put a lot of effort into developing "auto malls" (along with big box stores) to capture that sales tax.

    Tesla's network of two or three showrooms for an entire state leaves a lot of municipalities out in the cold.

    Resistance to Tesla may may not be originating in the state legislatures, but from the city and county governments.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:09:57 PM PDT

    •  Nope. Sales tax goes to the municipality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA

      Where the car is registered.

      Tesla showrooms don't "sell" cars. Purchases are done over the computer normally from the customer's home or office via his/her personal account.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:05:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The dealers have a good point, whether or not it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftCoastTom, statsone

    is the point it makes.

    If a manufacturer enters into an agreement with a dealer to sell its cars, then competes  directly with the dealer for sales, that is a bad faith action. It may be legally actionable, but manufacturers have far more resources available to them than do dealers, can can strong-arm them out of the picture.

    But that doesn't apply to green fields.
    It doesn't apply to new manufacturers like Tesla, and it doesn't apply to new areas not served by dealerships.

    As it is, manufacturers cultivated relationships with dealers in order to sell more cars with less investment than they could do on their own.  If they wish to end the relationship, they should negotiate they should make deals with the affected dealers.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:16:28 PM PDT

  •  Lots of misconceptions in the comments. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mokurai

    For anyone who wants a bit of knowledge on how auto dealerships actually work instead of the rampant speculation going on in the commentary, try this article: How Car Dealers Are Run

    If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

    by edg on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 04:41:36 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like they are going for a two-fer.. (0+ / 0-)

    Hurt Tesla as much as possible (because Green) and keep their rich car-selling jackass friends (and probably donors) rolling in the Green.

  •  What if I had to go to a middleman to buy an iPad (0+ / 0-)

    or an iPhone?  Should not auto manufacturers have the same rights as Apple?  Especially a planet-saving manufacturer like Tesla?  My next car will be a Tesla although I love my new BMW Z4.    

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:06:56 PM PDT

  •  Apple (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DonMahoney
    Apple found that the best way to sell its products was to control the entire purchasing experience, from beginning to end.
    Apple found that the only way to have a competent sales force was to do it themselves.  Not at all the same thing.

    Apple's Retail Challenge

    That left many retailers with no incentive to sell Macs, and instead provided a powerful profit motive to convert customers interested in buying a Mac into the owners of a new, cheaply assembled, house brand PC.

    This new cheap hardware fueled the Windows Price Paradox that autosold copies of Microsoft software on disposable, instant eWaste PCs that served to displaced Mac sales.

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 06:51:10 PM PDT

  •  It won't be long (0+ / 0-)

    Till the car you can order on-line, without a dealer, will be Chinese built, Chinese branded, & cheap.  The dealers will truly freak out then.  Not that I'm saying this would be a good development.

  •  Dealer loyalty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA

    Bergstrom dealerships in Wisconsin sell every kind of car you can think of in separate buildings sometimes side by side. Don't see how you can be loyal to nearly every brand of car. By dominating the field they have eliminated the majority of the competition both from other brands and other dealers. According to what I have heard they pay their mechanics poorly yet I know for a fact their shop rates are among the highest. However all of this is becoming more of a moot point every day because without good paying jobs people will not be able to buy new cars, houses etc. Walker and his Republican Kochsuckers have destroyed many local businesses and their jobs along with eliminating the future of the workforce by keeping them unemployed. On the bright side people are leaving Wisconsin in droves for places with jobs - so we got that going for us!

  •  Things change (0+ / 0-)

    Things change and that's just life.

    Now if we could get car manufacturers to stop designing and building vehicles that will intentionally wear out to the point they aren't worth fixing within five or six years like I have told by numerous car mechanics.

  •  Apple competes - Humor (0+ / 0-)

    "let them compete the way Apple competes with other PC manufacturers"

    I really appreciate the way Apple competed with other high tech companies to keep my salary in check.  They lulled me into thinking that setting salaries through third party salary surveys was their way to circumvent the law.  In fact they were blatantly smashing the law into little itty-bitty pieces.

    I think that means they lied to me as well.  

  •  Dealerships (0+ / 0-)

    The last time I was in a dealership, the salesman was so condescending, that I didn't purchase the car (which I had planned to buy that day), and I vowed to NEVER set foot in a dealership again.

  •  All they have to do (0+ / 0-)

    is stop calling it an automobile.  It's now a gasless carriagemobile, or something.  This cozy baby diaper of protection for the screaming auto infants expressly covers automobile dealerships.  So now Tesla is not one.  So there!

    Funny how everybody is for free market until they're not.

  •  Tesla in ohio (0+ / 0-)

    Having the manufacturer handle retail sales was a disaster for the home furnishings/furniture industry.  Starting in the 1970's - 1980's famous furniture factories like Drexel Heritage, Thomasville, and others pulled their products from established independent furniture stores who had been the source of their growth.  Once the factory stores were established they then tried to run them on the cheap and lost all the design innovation that had made their products popular with the American consumer .  The  style/creative competiveness died and so their stores and the products they offered became stale, boring.  Meanwhile independent retail innovators/merchants like Crate & Barrel who were focused and worked closely with a wide variety of vendors saw their business boom.
    There is nothing better than a merchant who is focused and knows how to "merchandise".  Let the manufacturer "manufacture".  Working together they can do great things.  When one tries to take on the role of the other it leads to disaster. Today retail in America is run by numbers people, make it cheaper vs. style, and much of the excitement, energy that built and powered retails sales of the past is gone.

  •  Really, the bottom line is... (0+ / 0-)

    for them, corporations, the wealthy and in this case autodealers, is that they've sold their souls for profits. They will say anything and avow to anything if it means protecting their profits. There is no question that Telsa selling directly to its customers is the free market in action. And there is no question that these autodealers would cry foul of infringing on the free market if it affected their profits. So its plain to see that they only care about their profits and not the free market. Soulless.

    •  Business' are in it to make money (0+ / 0-)

      just like everyone. Get over it.

      Also, those who hate car dealers (some for good reason, let it be noted) are what is bad for the car buying experience. I work for a honest store with great people and we do good things for peoples lives and our community.

      People like kos here are what's wrong. And trust me when I say that we don't like you either. Please feel free to buy your vehicles elsewhere!

  •  Tesla (0+ / 0-)

    So if Tesla doesn't have a clear right to sell their vehicles the way they want to, more like Apple, then why should businesses have the right to control their employees medical records???  Imagine if religious car dealership owners wanted to keep their mostly male salesmen from getting vasectomies.

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