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How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the don't-mess-with-texas-unless-you-can-float-some-benjamins dept.

Transportation 688

Funksaw writes "In a political op-ed on his blog, long time Slashdot reader and contributor Brian Boyko (the guy who did that animated Windows 8 video) — now a candidate for state representative — explains how lobbyists from car dealerships successfully banned Tesla Motors from selling cars in Texas. From the article: 'Tesla Motors doesn't just present a case study of why a lack of campaign finance reform blocks meaningful reform on the issues that Democrats care about, like climate change and health care. A lack of campaign finance reform blocks reforms on both the Left and the Right. Here's the big elephant in the room I'd like to point out to all the "elephants" in the room: With a Republican-controlled legislature, a Republican executive, and many conservatives in our judiciary, why the hell don't we have free markets in Texas? Isn't it the very core of economic-conservative theory that the invisible hand of the free market determines who gets what resources? Doesn't the free market have the ability to direct resources to where they can most efficiently be used? I'm not saying the conservatives are right in these assumptions; but I am saying that our broken campaign finance system makes a mockery of them.'"

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Free Market? LoL (5, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#44812079)

They don't want a Free Market, they want a Free For Them Market, screw everyone else.

Also, with how I saw Red McCombs screwing around San Antonio while I lived in Texas, it doesn't surprise me one bit.

Re:Free Market? LoL (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#44812131)

Yep. Anyone can describe a utopian economic system ("Under communism, everyone will work together for the common good!" "Under capitalism, competition and individual choice will lead to the greatest possible efficiency!") but in the real world, they all tend toward cronyism and corruption. Every single time.

Mod parent down. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812241)

MPD.

Re:Mod parent down. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812293)

Mod parent.

Re:Free Market? LoL (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44812523)

I want to be a corrupt crony, you insensitive clod!

Re:Free Market? LoL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812195)

Exactly. Since when have Republicans actually championed free markets (as opposed to doing them lip service)? Maybe you're thinking of Libertarians.

Re:Free Market? LoL (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44812279)

Republicans aren't free market libertarians, they are corporatists. Corporatists go complaining to the government when their long standing business model is challenged. Look throughout US history and you'll see examples going all the way back to the decline of the railroad empires.

Re:Free Market? LoL (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812507)

Exactly the same thing can be said about Democrats. Don't play partisan politics. They are both the same.

Re:Free Market? LoL (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#44812731)

But Democrats don't sell themselves as wanting completely free and unregulated markets. That's not to say they are hypocrites about other things but in this case it is more about Republicans.

Re:Free Market? LoL and more LOL (2)

leftover (210560) | about a year ago | (#44812749)

Keep going back -- look up Whiskey Rebellion.

Re:Free Market? LoL (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44812587)

All the more reason to call them out on it.

Re:Free Market? LoL (5, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#44812499)

The invisible hand of the market determines who gets what resource by slipping fat checks into the right persons pockets.

Re:Free Market? LoL (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812553)

I call that the invisible hand job.

Big oil (1, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44812095)

Texas doesn't want electric cars because it goes against their oil industry, which pretty much runs the state.

More (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44812275)

Re:Big oil (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year ago | (#44812351)

...or Big Car Dealership, y'know, like it says everywhere.

Re:Big oil (1, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44812461)

I just knew I'd get a +5 if I invoked Big Oil, whether they had anything to do with it or not. Just goes to show how useless the Slashdot scoring system is.

Re:Big oil (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#44812693)

"Banned" is a strong word, there are at least 3 Tesla's on the road in Austin, TX, One parks in my parking garage, I get to drool on it for free. I feel that pro-oil interests are probably not as powerful as dealer issues.

But everyone should do their part and vigorously drive dealer margin out of the sales price on any vehicle they buy. I usually go pretty far playing one against the other, but I may go farther and farther afield just to be a dick.

"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812133)

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Re:"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional ri (2)

zzsmirkzz (974536) | about a year ago | (#44812255)

Where is the allowed acceptance of corporate campaign contributions covered in there? I don't see it. Notice my wording, running for and holding office is a choice, it's completely voluntary. By choosing to run for and, potentially, hold office you must agree to the rules. If those rules say you cannot accept compensation from for-profit corporations (as opposed to non-profit political organizations), then you cannot. Constitution not violated.

Re:"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional ri (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44812363)

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

One should be able to petition his government without having to first fill their coffers; to that same end, one should not be able to purchase a greater amount of influence than any other American has.

Re:"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional ri (1)

uncqual (836337) | about a year ago | (#44812629)

The first amendment doesn't specify HOW one may petition the government for redress of grievances or guarantee equal access to that right - it just prohibits Congress from making laws abridging that right (which, campaign finance reform does in the opinion of some).

Consider, if you ban all money from such redress efforts as you seem to suggest would be "fair". That might require each individual to meet with their representative in person as stamps, paper, and internet access cost money and only those with sufficient resources could afford those. Of course, that creates an interesting unfairness in itself, as only those that can afford to pay for transport to the representative's office (Washington DC in the case of the President) could practically petition their government.

Almost all speech requires money -- either in form of direct/like kind costs (cost of paper, envelopes, stamps, posters...), opportunity costs (forgone wages), or indirect costs (petitioner paying someone to mow their lawn because they are too busy petitioning their representative to do so themselves).

Re:"Broken campaign fincance": a Constititional ri (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44812615)

I don't see much there for corporations, only for the people.

Free market, LOL! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812143)

Ever see the shirt with the outline of an elephant humping the outline of a donkey? Republicans have NO desire for free market. They push corporatism. Demoncrats have NO desire for free market. They push socialism.
 
Simple, apt explanation. Are you stuck in primary school, Funksaw? This is sort of common-knowledge these days.

Re:Free market, LOL! (4, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | about a year ago | (#44812439)

Socialism, lol.

Re:Free market, LOL! (5, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44812635)

The Ds are what most countries would call 'the right'. They are nowhere near Socialism.,/p>

Re:Free market, LOL! (4, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#44812751)

That's what most Americans don't get. "Liberals" in the US would be conservatives in most other countries. We are so far at the bottom of the "socialist" rating scale that we might as well be eliminated as an anomaly.

cc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812145)

some car companies lobby for money from the government to stay afloat, when they should go bankrupt. they're given the money.

another car company lobbies the government for some cash to get off the ground, pointing out how competitors have no chance against established car companies that are propped up by the federal government. they're given the money.

the established car companies' networks lobby in Texas ....etc etc etc.

it's crony capitalism all the way down.

Wrong party (5, Insightful)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | about a year ago | (#44812147)

Republicans don't want free-market.
Democrats don't want free-market.
They both want different lobbys to pay them (in campaign donations) for the "privilege" of not being encumbered by regulations of the other party.

Libertarians (both big "L" and little "l") generally want free-markets.

Re:Wrong party (1, Flamebait)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#44812233)

The problem is that Libertarians want corporations to be unencumbered by regulations to the extent that they can harm people and the environment without oversight.

Re:Wrong party (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44812421)

The problem is that Libertarians want corporations to be unencumbered by regulations to the extent that they can harm people and the environment without oversight.

The problem with most people who describe Libertarianism is that they have no fucking clue what they're on about (because they aren't Libertarians, and/or they have a vested interest in marginalizing them).

FWIW, unlike Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians are allowed to think for themselves, and don't get beaten with a rubber hose for stepping out of the party line. I will admit, the official party plank regarding economics is a bit antiquated and unrealistic, but hardly the poison-our-food-and-water free-for-all you're making it out to be.

Re:Wrong party (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812527)

The key differences between the Democrat, Republican and Libertarian parties are that the former two are electable.

Re:Wrong party (4, Funny)

FictionPimp (712802) | about a year ago | (#44812655)

This is like saying that because the only restaurant in town is McDonalds I should suck it up and accept that shit as food. Fuck that, I'd rather keep fighting the good fight and driving to the next town hoping one day my town will get a Taco Bell.

Re:Wrong party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812707)

That's mostly because it's widely believed (and self fulfilling) that voting for any party except for D or R is throwing your vote away. Sadly the more people say and believe that the more it remains true. It would also be helpful to move to a pure vote per candidate system and forego the electoral college.

Re:Wrong party (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44812651)

Real libertarians don't support corporate charters at all. Many Libertarians have already sold out on that issue and they haven't even been in power yet.

Re:Wrong party (1, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44812727)

> The problem with most people who describe Libertarianism is that they have no fucking clue

No. That's not the other case at all. The other guy had your number right on the money.

Libertarians are so busy trying to make everyone afraid of Big Government that they overlook Big Business.

Re:Wrong party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812513)

1. Make corporations unencumbered by regulations.
2. Turn your party into a corporation.
3. ???
4. Profit.

Re:Wrong party (-1, Flamebait)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#44812281)

The problem with the libertarian movement is the predominance of shitbag no-account pottheads, sour-grapes cop-haters who are still mad about some shit that happened in jr high, and batshit insane conspiracy true believers.

Somewhere in that mix are a handful of people who believe that government should be limited. But its hard to hear them sometimes.

Re:Wrong party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812643)

nope. just watched my 89 year old grand father in a wheelchair put in a chokehold, you asshole. i'd shove my foot so far up your sour grapes, you won't remember what year it is.

Re:Wrong party (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812389)

Libertarians do not want free markets either. They push for hyper-deregulation. Without a regulated and fair market, the market itself will devolve to fewer choices and fewer opportunities for new entries into the market. Different name for the same old crap.

Re:Wrong party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812537)

Yeah, but for the libertarians a free market is some horrible elder god and they're perfectly happy to make all the blood sacrifices they can to hasten its arrival.

Re:Wrong party (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44812687)

Libertarians (both big "L" and little "l") generally want corporations to make the rules. That is not what "free market" means.

Re:Wrong party (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44812721)

There ain't no such thing as a free market.

Either there's government enforcing at least basic rules about how the market operates (e.g. no "offers you can't refuse"), or there's non-market influences on the decisions of actors in that market (e.g. "I'm bleeding to death, it doesn't matter that the hospital in the next town offers cheaper service").

What Libertarians tend to actually want is the ability for the more powerful private actor to take advantage of the less powerful private actor with impunity. The more powerful private actor has a key advantage: They have a better ability to research and organize alternative transactions. That allows them to control the pricing in a way that the less powerful actor cannot.

For a concrete example, consider farmer Bob deciding whether to sell his corn to Archer Daniels Midland for $4.75 per bushel. Look at his options:
- Sell at the offered price.
- Not sell at all. That will probably cause him to lose his farm, because without this sale, he doesn't pay off the bank.
- Try to sell to someone else. But since there's no one besides ADM who buys corn in his area, the only way Bob could pull this off is to invent his own transport and distribution network, from scratch.
So what you have is not a free market, but a ADM-controlled market that is only free to ADM.

What he's discovering here... (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44812149)

...is that there's a difference between "Republicans" and "Conservatives".

Re:What he's discovering here... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812317)

Anytime you put a label on a group, you've lost. Politicians have been developing ways to twist into or out of various labels for millennia. You want an actual debate, talk about the issues, with real data, and ban all labels.

It's how I would say that I used to share an office with Nate, and he liked to ski and drive fast cars, not that I used to share an office with that liberal white guy. In one description, I mentioned some information about him. In the other, I mentioned some labels that will make half the world hate him even though they don't know a thing about him.

Re:What he's discovering here... (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#44812339)

That's some good No True Scotsmanning, Lou.

Re:What he's discovering here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812561)

Correction. You mean between "Republican" and 'Libertarian."

As this example fairly obviously proves, Free market is not a conservative ideal, it is a libertarian one.

Try that stuff if Texas was Libertarian controlled and Tesla would be happilly selling cars in Texas.

Republicans know they have less than 25% of the population truly on their side. Somehow they managed to convince the 10% or so of voters that are Libertarian that conserveratives/republicans are the closer party. In truth, it's about 50/50. Libertarians agree with liberals whenever it comes to social issues (Abortion being the obvious one - libertarians are AGAINST government regulations, not in favor of them.), but with conservatives about business issues.

This is a "Free Market" (1, Interesting)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about a year ago | (#44812153)

This is exactly how neoconservatives view the free market. Politicians and laws are part of the market and fair game. A company will always strive to maximize profits, if buying laws and legislators maximizes profits so be it.

This is the free market as neoconservatives see it, whoever has the most capital wins.

Re:This is a "Free Market" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812243)

I like this view. Why treat the politicians and legislation separately from the market? It's all part of the game. You're all free to play it.

Re:This is a "Free Market" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812407)

Indeed! And 3 year olds should all have access to guns. After all it's a demoncracy.

Re:This is a "Free Market" (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44812681)

It's not a free market until we are free to send goons (or be goons) and 'tune them up' when they get out of line.

Re:This is a "Free Market" (1, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#44812639)

Actually, I think it's also an inadvertent liberal construction as well. First everyone agrees on "no taxation without representation." Then you decide to tax corporations. But you don't let them vote. Consequently the Supreme Court decides that corporations can make campaign contributions as their form of representation.

Eliminate this inconsistency and you can remove corporate (and foreign) influence from politics. Get rid of corporate income taxes. For an individual to benefit from that corporate income, at some point it has to become their income. So whether you tax the corporation or tax individuals is immaterial - the net result is the same.

Then you make it illegal for anyone/anything who can't vote to contribute to campaigns or run political ads. They can still hire lobbyists, but without the carrot of campaign donations they'd be reduced to an amicus curiae advisory role. If a company/organization has a political issue they care deeply about, they can pitch it to their employees/members. If the pitch is effective, those voters will make the campaign donations on the company's or organization's behalf.

Re:This is a "Free Market" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812671)

This is exactly how neoliberals see the market. Don't play partisan politics. They are both the same.

Noise and Smoke (1)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about a year ago | (#44812165)

Some backwards people just want to make a lot of noise and blow smoke.

wrong market (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812173)

The free market here is in politicians, not autos.

Conservatives? (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44812179)

I think it's cute that the synopsis above thinks Texas has a lot of conservatives in its government. Republicans != conservatives, at least not universially.

This could backfire big-time for Texas (5, Funny)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#44812183)

Texas is trying to convince Space-X to build a launch facility near Brownsville, TX. [facebook.com] Someone may have forgotten that Elon Musk runs both Space-X and Tesla.

Re:This could backfire big-time for Texas (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year ago | (#44812261)

Oh, that's hilarious.

Re:This could backfire big-time for Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812633)

Wow. That is so delicious.

Sad, truly sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812247)

I have to say, I am very sad by this , especially after watching the video, i feel like buying a tesla car just to encourage tesla and make the dealerships feel like they longer are current, they are actually now obsolete. Why would i pay 5k more for a car just because they went through your hands instead of direct from the manufacturer.

Nobody is Banning Tesla (1, Insightful)

tapspace (2368622) | about a year ago | (#44812249)

It's hard for me to have sympathy for tesla when every article claims that X state or Y state is ZOMG BANNING TESLA. No one is banning Tesla. It's intellectually dishonest. Tesla is whining that they don't like the rules, so they're just going to take their ball and go home. Look. It's the law. Want to sell cars? Get dealerships. Don't like the law? Lobby to change it. I would be a lot more interested in what Tesla and their supporters have to say if they would just present the facts honestly. It strikes me as a lot of whining and crying "unfair," when changing the law specifically for Tesla strikes me as less fair (however inevitable and necessary for that to happen *in due time*).

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (2, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44812365)

Protesting by not doing business in the state sure sounds a lot like lobbying.

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (5, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about a year ago | (#44812467)

If it's "dishonest" to frame this as "Tesla can't sell cars in Texas" then it's equally "dishonest" to frame it as "Tesla can sell cars in Texas if the follow 'the rules'". Both of those statements are true. Neither tells the whole story. And there's no reason whatever to accept one version over the other.

In 1960 blacks it was true to say "blacks in MS can vote if they follow 'the rules'". Of course "the rules" were desperately unfair both in conception and enforcement so in practice kept blacks from voting. Hence it was also true to say "blacks in MS are not allowed to vote". Just like in the Tesla case neither simplistic statement tells the whole story, but neither is any more "dishonest" than the other, they're just framed from different points of view.

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year ago | (#44812489)

The point is that the laws were pushed in place through lobbyists and campaign finance to protect dealership networks. I'd love to hear the argument that forcing any auto manufacturer to sell through a middle man is inherently in the public good. You shouldn't have to change laws to be able to sell your perfectly legal product to the public, *especially* in a "conservative" state like Texas. Nobody's whining about rules, we're just pointing out that the "good ol' boys" club is still around and needs to be put down.

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812521)

> Don't like the law? Lobby to change it.

This is how they are lobbying to change it. Through PR.

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (4, Insightful)

PktLoss (647983) | about a year ago | (#44812531)

I understand the basis of the franchise laws as they exist to be: Car companies needed to expand in the old days, but lacked the capitol. Franchisees bought the rights to sell cars from a given company, put their name on the door, and started selling Ford, GM, whatever. Once the car companies themselves were in better shape (with cash kicking around) it would have been trivial for them to open their own dealership down the road, then either stop selling cars to the franchisee, or undercut their prices, etc. etc. Without those laws it would have been easy, and economically beneficial, for the car companies to kill their dealer network and replace it with corporate stores once they had the money to do so.

No franchisee has given money to Telsa to start selling their cars, so there's no one who needs those protections.

Re:Nobody is Banning Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812607)

But they already did change the law for Tesla... AGAINST Tesla... or maybe you forgot the initial outcry when states PASSED these laws after Telsa was selling cars happily, then oh you don't have a dealership, sorry, we're going to pass a law so you can't sell cars without a dealership...

Thats where they crys of "unfair" come from. there were no dealership laws BEFORE Tesla... so yes, it "banned" Tesla's business model.

Public Choice theory and Regulatory capture. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812277)

If this result is confusing please see the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_choice
"Public choice or public choice theory has been described as "the use of economic tools to deal with traditional problems of political science".[1] Its content includes the study of political behavior.[2] In political science, it is the subset of positive political theory that models voters, politicians, and bureaucrats as mainly self-interested"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture
"Regulatory capture occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for firms to produce negative externalities. "

Not a new law... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812291)

It wasn't a new law that kept Tesla out of Texas. The law that car makers couldn't sell direct to consumers in the state has been there for years. Tesla can sell all the cars he wants in Texas. He just has to get someone to open dealerships just like GM, Ford, Toyota and all the others.

Read the article (4, Funny)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#44812313)

They're not saying that Tesla can't sell their cars in Texas. They're saying that Tesla can't deal them without using a third party dealership.

Its one of the old monopoly laws. Another one would be movie theaters. They used to be owned almost entirely by movie studios. That is, universal, etc would literally own the theater. They broke up most of those relationships and now you have to have separate corporations for many of these things.

Tesla could probably sell their cars just fine if they contracted with the local dealerships. Why they don't... I do not know.

Regardless, I agree that companies should be able to sell their products directly. After all, doesn't Apple have Apple stores that sell apple laptops directly? And then there are all the direct internet retailers. I can buy a computer direct from dell or a pair of socks direct from the gap. And the gap "makes" those socks. They're "gap" socks.

So I agree, the law is dumb. But it is actually very easy to get around it by just dealing with the dealerships instead of setting up your own.

AGAIN... I agree... it s dumb. But its manageable.

Re:Read the article (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812449)

In Tesla's defense, would you willingly let your wares be sold by dealerships that are out to make the most money possible from the customers often with dishonest tactics? Car sales people are among the most despised, least trusted people on the planet. I don't think there are any auto manufacturers that wouldn't kick independent dealerships to the curb if they could.

Re:Read the article (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44812541)

In Tesla's defense, would you willingly let your wares be sold by dealerships that are out to make the most money possible from the customers often with dishonest tactics?

If that was the only way to get a foot in the market, I'd be a petulant, stupid child not to. This is capitalism: as a company, you either make money or you languish and die. Whining about how the current state of affairs is "unfair" to YOUR company isn't going to win any friends, nor is it going to sell any product.

Re:Read the article (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about a year ago | (#44812525)

Tesla could probably sell their cars just fine if they contracted with the local dealerships. Why they don't... I do not know.

$$$$$$$

Dealerships don't work for free. They would either need to add at least $3k to the price of a bottom-end Model S or Tesla would have to eat that cost.

Also, I wouldn't rule out the dealers saying no to electrics on the basis of the lack of maintenance revenue. The stealerships wouldn't be able to charge Tesla drivers obscene rates for oil changes and such.

Re:Read the article (1)

JBMcB (73720) | about a year ago | (#44812661)

The stealerships wouldn't be able to charge Tesla drivers obscene rates for oil changes and such.

Electrics still need maintenance. At the very least, you need to replace the battery pack periodically. That'll be $$$$$$$$$.

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812713)

Also, I wouldn't rule out the dealers saying no to electrics on the basis of the lack of maintenance revenue.

There's a difference between electric cars and magical self-repairing chariots of the gods. For one thing, electric cars still have about 1.3 tons of moving parts that do not repair themselves. For another, electric cars are not pulled by magical boars that can be killed and eaten each night only to return alive by dawn willing to go through the whole thing again tomorrow night. There are more, but those two details should help you sort out the differences better.

Re:Read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812609)

I assume that selling direct and cutting out the middle man makes things cheaper for the end users. That's why Apple products are so cheap.

<cough>

Re:Read the article (1)

timholman (71886) | about a year ago | (#44812705)

They're not saying that Tesla can't sell their cars in Texas. They're saying that Tesla can't deal them without using a third party dealership.

Its one of the old monopoly laws. Another one would be movie theaters. They used to be owned almost entirely by movie studios. That is, universal, etc would literally own the theater. They broke up most of those relationships and now you have to have separate corporations for many of these things.

This is a classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario.

If GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, etc., entered a state, opened direct factory stores, and drove all the local dealers out of business, people would complain about how out-of-state and overseas corporations were destroying local family businesses and pushing consumers around.

So Texas went the opposite route and gave local dealers all the power - and now they're the ones pushing the consumers around. People are mad only because Tesla and Elon Musk are being affected. If it was some other faceless corporation trying to drive out local businesses, you'd have a completely different response from the Slashdot crowd.

And just to clarify something - Texas isn't barring Tesla from direct sales; they bar ALL auto manufacturers from selling directly to consumers.

lobbying for their own exemption (5, Informative)

james_shoemaker (12459) | about a year ago | (#44812321)

I read the laws tesla is lobbying for on their website, it's a rather specific exemption from the dealership law for basically them:

"a manufacturer of only all electric-powered or all battery-powered motor vehicles, or a distributor of only all electric-powered or all battery-powered motor vehicles, that (i) owned and operated a new motor vehicle dealership in the United States on or before March 1, 2013, and (ii) has never sold its line make in the United States through an independent franchised new motor vehicle dealership, may own or operate a dealer or dealership, or act in the capacity of a dealer, at any location within the state and may obtain a dealer general distinguishing number under Section 503.029 of the Transportation Code."

      "let's write ourselves an exemption, but slam the door on anyone coming after us"

Re:lobbying for their own exemption (2)

smack.addict (116174) | about a year ago | (#44812481)

That's not what they were doing.

They knew there was no way in hell they would get a blanket exemption or get the law repealed (Tesla's preference). So, they tried to craft the most palatable thing that could be passable.

Re:lobbying for their own exemption (1)

organgtool (966989) | about a year ago | (#44812631)

As a huge fan of Tesla Motors and Elon Musk, I'd have to say that it's probably a little of both.

Re:lobbying for their own exemption (0, Troll)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44812573)

I read the laws tesla is lobbying for on their website, it's a rather specific exemption from the dealership law for basically them:

"a manufacturer of only all electric-powered or all battery-powered motor vehicles, or a distributor of only all electric-powered or all battery-powered motor vehicles, that (i) owned and operated a new motor vehicle dealership in the United States on or before March 1, 2013, and (ii) has never sold its line make in the United States through an independent franchised new motor vehicle dealership, may own or operate a dealer or dealership, or act in the capacity of a dealer, at any location within the state and may obtain a dealer general distinguishing number under Section 503.029 of the Transportation Code."

      "let's write ourselves an exemption, but slam the door on anyone coming after us"

Further cementing my opinion that Elon Musk is just an elitist, douche-bag crybaby on an ego trip.

Go cry to someone that cares, Son of Apartheid - I've got karma to burn.

Re:lobbying for their own exemption (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#44812603)

"let's write ourselves an exemption, but slam the door on anyone coming after us"

That's how most lobbying works, in a nutshell. Very few lobbyists are working towards "a good compromise that satisfies everyone"--they're playing for-keeps. It's what makes their lavish salaries so worth paying... You know, if you're the sort of scum that wants to rule the world.

Austin showroom (5, Interesting)

605dave (722736) | about a year ago | (#44812347)

Tesla is not banned from Texas, they are banned from having dealerships. I just test drove (and will probably buy) the Tesla sedan last Friday here through the Tesla showroom at the Domain in Austin. I now have to simply go online and order one, and it will be delivered right here to Austin, Texas. In addition Tesla has an agreement with a local repair shop for any servicing, and they are building a charging infrastructure here in the state. So you can't say they've been banned, only that they have been prevented from having a tradition all in one place solution.

And I find it so amazingly ironic that all of the Republicans in this state who pontificate about the free market and demonize regulation would fight to keep the dealership system. It is exactly the kind of regulation they usually abhor, and prevents the capitalist system from working. The hypocrisy is unfortunately sadly predictable for those on the right in Texas. This is the same group that has passed a voter ID law to suppress the voting rights of the disadvantaged, even though in the last ten years there have only been 4 cases of voting fraud that could have been stopped with the ID law.

Economics of Car Dealerships (3, Informative)

dhalsim2 (626618) | about a year ago | (#44812355)

This isn't a Republican vs Democrat thing, but it _is_ very political. Planet Money had an explanation of the economics of car dealerships and how dealerships and politicians prevent sales directly to consumers.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/02/19/172402376/why-buying-a-car-never-changes [npr.org]

I don't get the feeling he's any different (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | about a year ago | (#44812367)

So he spends a good deal of time talking about how contributions are perverting the process and finishes his post with ....

And if you can spare it, kick in some money to my campaign. Lord knows that after this post, Iâ(TM)m not getting any money from the Texas Automobile Dealers Association.

Re: I don't get the feeling he's any different (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812529)

You're SO right because soliciting contributions from individuals that read your position papers is completely the same as soliciting them from entrenched business interests with their archaic business models enshirned in the law.

Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812387)

I was wondering the other day how free markets can exist with MAP pricing. It's pretty obvious that the powers are only interested in free markets when it benefits them.

When you have a govt that regulates *everything* (2)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44812391)

All of that regulation is for sale. The more power the govt has, the more it will be up on the auction block to the highest bidder. A more powerful govt is the last thing anyone should want.

And if you have government that does nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812505)

Then everthing is up for grabs.

And since corporations have more money than you do, they'll grab it all.

Invisible hand of the free market? (3, Informative)

Acapulco (1289274) | about a year ago | (#44812419)

I have come to believe that "the invisible hand of the free market" is an euphemism for "MY invisible hand ON the free market"

Re:Invisible hand of the free market? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44812599)

What would you call that?

A Dirty Bernanke? Perhaps the Greenspan Steamer?

Mockery of free market indeed. (4, Funny)

dittbub (2425592) | about a year ago | (#44812471)

Laws go to the highest bidder. What could be more free market?

Non-issue. (0, Flamebait)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#44812487)

Want a 100k car? You can drive 2 hours to Oklahoma.

Want good education for your kids in the inner city? Sorry, no can do, as shitty teachers can't be fired and the voucher system was killed by Democrats, using the campaign contributions from the teachers' union.

But why don't we focus instead on minor inconveniences for millionaires, instead of real issues.

He's an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812555)

"Fair markets" is not a static situation, it is a dynamic one. Is does not mean everything is fair to everyone at all times - it means that government should not be the ones deciding what is fair and for who. Given *time*, these things work themselves out. That doesn't mean there won't be winners and losers - just that in the end, things will find their own level.

The thing with Tesla in Texas is just such a thing. Is it a mistake for the people of Texas to ban Tesla cars? Maybe. Maybe not. The only thing *I* know for sure is that either way, it will work out. If Tesla gets big in other states, Texas will follow as public pressure will push the politicians. If Tesla turns out to be just another green boondoggle, then Texas will be spared that.

Anyone can make themselves look clever by only pointing out the flaws in *any* philosophy. They depend on the public to not notice when their *solutions* to these problems actually make it worse. And whatever you can say about the inequalities of the past - the MACRO result of government intervention is universally bad. And macro doesn't mean the immediate result - it means fifty to one hundred years later - have the people you purported to help really better off? That is why history is the enemy of the liberal; and why they are always trying to redefine it to fit their current political needs.

The next time your child is having major surgery, feel free to go full liberal and burst into the operating room and cry out that the surgeon is incompetent because the kid now has an open wound and there's blood everywhere. The concept is the same for any dynamic process. You can say anything is failing if you cherry pick what you choose to highlight.

It's not Capitalism to blame (3, Interesting)

sasquatch989 (2663479) | about a year ago | (#44812621)

The issue is that Republicans are liars and at the end of the day are all just homophobic Democrats. Bush was not a conservative, not by any real economic measure, but that is Rove and Ailes fault. Of course when you look at the war-agitprop and unapologetic positions of Democrat leadership then you sson realize that democrats are just hedonist war-mongers. Their common fault is that they all believe that their party can fix what the other party has broken. I always refer to politics with the same analogy: It is just like professional wrestling. When the cameras are on and the stage is set they are bitter enemies, smashing each with rhetorical chairs and over-the-top storylines. When the lights are turned down and the crowd goes home, they are all backstage drinking beers and swapping wives. In the end its because the biggest corporatist-whores are the media themselves, the media that has never known a war that it at first didnt love and cheer-lead for, the media that always implicilty calls for legislative action, the same media that can get caught red-handed in a lie but never apologize or be punished. #CNNMakesYouDumb

Ayn Rand's Texas (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44812657)

How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

This is what the "free market" looks like, Texas-style.

This really doesnt matter -- read why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812683)

The articles and posters (including blogs) are all making the point that its unfair that telsa was booted from texas because they will not let the car dealers sell their cars. But what you have to do is to sit down and think about this. Do you mean that by not selling thru the dealerships ( Which everyone says are evil and very difficult to deal with ) that your buying experience will be different? How so? Just because you do not use a dealership doesnt guarantee a quality experience. However, In a free market society (there is one right?) one should have the right to sell a product as they see fit. However, If Texas and other states do not want them sold there then bypass them completely. People will gladly go across state boarders to buy a quality / hot item. Texas and the others will just be forfieting their tax revenue for the product. Personally, I will probably never buy a eCar. I dont want the luxury of replacing very expensive batteries and running around looking for a charge. On the subject of charging (since I brought it up) How do you think these things get a charge? its called the coal industry. You know that industry that Barry is trying so hard to shut down. It really makes me laugh when people buy these eCars and think they are doing the "green thing" when actually they are just saying "Hey, Through some more coal in the burner will yah?". In closing, I would rather pay for a oil change than a battery change in a eCar. -- coffee412 at comcrap dot com

Texas? Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44812685)

Nobody from Texas reads Slashdot.

why is this news (1)

asamad (658115) | about a year ago | (#44812689)

Not sure why this is news. Had it taken so long to figure this out.

Republicans support free markets? (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44812741)

Who knew?

Seriously, if they do, it must be in some far-off country I have no experience of. This one here, not so much.

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