North Carolina tries to ban Tesla from selling its electric cars directly

Tesla Store Toronto
© Tesla

North Carolina's legislators have proposed a bill that would make it illegal for automakers to sell their cars directly in the state. Of course the bill is supported by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, and Tesla Motors is pretty much the only manufacturer that the law would apply to (in fact, the original bill went as far as to consider "anyone who provides a computer or equipment used to order a Tesla to be operating as a dealer" -- ridiculous).

The backers of the bill, which include a senator that has received $8,000 in contribution from the Auto Dealers Association, claim that the goal is about "about preventing unfair competition". This makes me really mad because either dealerships add value to the process of selling cars, in which case a manufacturer trying to sell directly isn't unfairly competing, or they don't add value, which means they probably shouldn't exist, or at least shouldn't be shielded from competition.

Tesla Store© Lloyd Alter

In other words, this is about preventing competition, not "unfair" competition, by using lobbyists and politicians as weapons rather than by providing better service than a competitor. It's sad, and exactly the kind of corrupt practices that slows down progress (same concept with the fossil fuel industry protecting its subsidies and preferential treatment by lobbying politicians).

Via News Observer, Slate

See also: Consumer Reports: Tesla Model S is 'best car we've ever tested' (Score: 99/100)

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