Auto dealers try to sneak in a bill that would put "Tesla out of business in New York"

Elon Musk twitter about NY bill
Screen capture Twitter

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, didn't have much time to relax after unveiling his company's battery-swapping technology. He's already under attack by auto dealers (again), this time in the populous and commercially crucial state of New York.

Here is Tesla's official statement in full:

BILL ATTEMPTS TO PUT TESLA – AMERICA’S LEADING ELECTRIC CAR COMPANY - OUT OF BUSINESS IN NEW YORK
A.7844A/S.5725A HINDERS CONSUMER CHOICE, HURTS ECONOMY, AND WILL INCREASE NEW YORK’S CARBON FOOTPRINT

The bottom line for New York consumers and New York suppliers is that if this bill passes, special interests in Albany will once again have gotten their way while robbing New Yorkers of choices in the marketplace, and Tesla will be put out of business in New York. The result would be that all of Tesla’s New York employees will lose their jobs. It means that New York-based suppliers to Tesla will lose business and New York consumers cannot buy the most advanced electric car in the world today. Banning Tesla from selling its vehicles is also a step in the wrong direction for reducing carbon vehicle emissions and the green environmental movement in New York. With the State of New York pushing so hard to lead green innovation supporting entire agencies for energy efficiency like NYSERDA, it is absolutely defies logic to ban Tesla from selling electric cars in New York.

From the beginning, Tesla’s goal has been to catalyze the market for electric vehicles and selling through intermediaries at this stage of the company will not work. For Auto Dealer Associations to claim that restricting competition is in the best interests of the public is wrong and defies obvious common sense. If we are kept out of New York, it forestalls progress and defeats innovation.

Tesla has created jobs in New York at both its stores and service centers and the sales of its vehicles go into supporting the local economy. Tesla remains committed to bringing electric vehicle technology and its customer focused sales and ownership experience to New York consumers, while complying with all local and state laws.”

(emphasis mine)

Here is the link to the contact info of NY Senators that Musk tweeted, and here is the text of the bill.

© Tesla

I hope that this is the auto dealers going too far, and that this will cause a huge backlash that will help Tesla win the freedom to try to compete without having to go through dealers, because as Musk has explained multiple times (like in this interview), if Tesla's EVs have to be sold by dealers who also sell gas cars, they will be the last thing they want to sell. Not only is it harder to sell because you have to explain the technology and differences (if it takes 4x the time and effort to sell one Tesla, they'll sell other cars instead), but they would make a lot less money on service (dealers make most of their money on service, not sales) and random salespeople don't know Tesla's product nearly as well as Tesla employees. In short: If Tesla has to go with traditional gas-car dealers, it won't succeed.

Via Elon Musk

See also: Texas won't allow Tesla to sell electric cars directly

Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | New York City | New York State

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