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Car Dealers Complain To DMV About Tesla's Website

Soulskill posted 1 year,29 days | from the if-you-don't-like-it,-go-on-the-internet-and-complain dept.

Transportation 364

cartechboy writes "State and national car dealer groups have been battling Tesla Motors for years, trying to stop them from selling its electric cars directly to buyers. Most of the time, the dealers work behind the scenes to change state laws and and force Tesla to conduct its sales through 'independently-owned third parties' which are... well, car dealers. But in California, Tesla's operations are legal, so that tactic won't work. So dealers there are taking an interesting new tack — complaining to the DMV about Tesla's website."

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Sour Grapes (5, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943131)

The dealers have a few good points, but EVERYONE knows this is just sour grapes because the dealerships can't fleece potential buyers out of some more money off the top.

Fucking scum.

Re:Sour Grapes (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943471)

Yeah.. I am personally rather happy to see something finally taking a crack at their pattern. I hate hate HATE dealer and have worked hard over the years to never have to deal with one. The idea that they write laws forcing themselves as the only business options really annoys me.

Re:Sour Grapes (2)

Delarth799 (1839672) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943749)

Won't someone think if our mone.... err um the consumer's money!!!!

That's exactly it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943549)

They want to force Tesla to sell through them so they can jack up the prices on a product in demand.

Missing Point (1, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943563)

I agree - it does seem to be sour grapes but they do have some good points. However they do seem to miss one. Tesla claim that you save money on petrol. While true if you factor in the cost of the wear on the battery per km driven then cost of an electric car's fuel is actually far higher than a petrol car. With the cost of petrol continuously increasing and battery lifetimes increasing at some point electric cars will win but any fair comparison of the fuel costs must include the battery wear cost.

Re:Missing Point (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943635)

Battery costs will likely go down significantly in the future, although electricity costs will likely go up at least slightly.

Re:Missing Point (5, Informative)

Shompol (1690084) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943849)

the fuel costs must include the battery wear cost

That would fall under normal wear and tear, not fuel costs. And before you argue that battery is a costly component that gasoline cars lack: it is more than offset by much simplier car design with fewer moving parts. In fact, what I heard was that the dealers do not want Tesla's business because they would lose out on those fat maintenance cash flows.

Re:Missing Point (5, Interesting)

turkeyfish (950384) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944317)

Bingo. You've hit the nail on the head. Dealerships make most their money in repairs, not in selling cars. Over the life of a car, the 5-20% profit they make on the sale is a small fraction of what they can make on repairs and maintenance.

If Telsa has the audacity to create a product that requires significantly less repairs, it puts dealerships at a competitive disadvantage, which is exactly where they should be in a truly free and open market.

Many in the fossil fuels business like to downplay the savings gained from small fuel costs for battery technology, but they don't want to address the larger costs associated with maintenance issues inherent in internal combustion technology because they know it makes electric car technology even more attractive financially.

Re:Missing Point (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944369)

Actually, that is not true with Tesla. What is being found with the roadster is that it is the number of recharge cycles that slowly decay the batteries. Basically, when the roadster has driven some 120K miles, there will be over 90% charge in the batteries. Considering that the average American drives 12K miles/year, that means roadster will need a new battery around 15-20 years out. The same is true on the model S. Even now, Tesla is pre-charging for batteries available after 8 years, at only $12K. However, in 15-20 years, it is thought that the batteries will only cost around $3K for the 85KWH version. And that is about how much my wife pays for a years worth of gas right now in a highlander.

Re:Sour Grapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943751)

They did just that in Texas.

It is ilelgal to buy a Telsa there as the dealers bought laws and plan to buy congress to make sure no Americans will ever drive them whether you want them or not.

Re:Sour Grapes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943841)

It's not illegal to buy the car in Texas. It's illegal for Tesla to sell them directly. You have to buy one from Tesla in Arizona or California, have it delivered, and register it with the state on your own (something the dealership usually does). All in all, it's not really a hard thing to do. More of a pain in the ass than just going to the show room and buying one, of course... But in my mind, worth it to stick it to the car dealer scum.

Tesla also cannot do warranty service on the car directly. They must use third party, but factory approved subcontractors.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944387)

You have to buy one from Tesla in Arizona or California, have it delivered, and register it with the state on your own

The Texas dealers are trying to get the law changed to prevent that.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943851)

Indeed.
This is yet another dead business model which is not willing to admit it's time is past.

Re:Sour Grapes (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943853)

This is right up there with the laws the liquor distributors have rammed through in MA to keep their middleman system going.

Re:Sour Grapes (2)

rossz (67331) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944121)

Just last week a co-worker used their website tool to figure out his monthly payment. Pretty standard stuff that most car websites provide. What Tesla didn't do was make it obvious that they were subtracting the estimated fuel cost from the amount. It was dishonest.

hot grits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943133)

falling out of my pants onto natalie portman's face

how about a beowulf cluster of teslas

Re:hot grits (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943541)

hey bro you should check out the novel Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon that just came out last week...it might not have any hot grits in it but it has a lot of other great dotcom nostalgia and enough conspiracy kook shit to be a slashdot must read...kinda surprised they didn't post an article on it actually...

how amusing (5, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943135)

Telsa's claims might be misleading, but if you want a pathological lying sack of shit, look no further than your local car dealer.

Re:how amusing (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943173)

Tesla's claims ARE misleading.

They need to be clear about your out-of-pocket costs - your actual payment to Tesla's finance company.

ALSO, dealerships exist only to fuck customers out of useless middleman money by skimming off the top and providing overpriced service.

Re:how amusing (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943235)

Tesla's claims ARE misleading.

They need to be clear about your out-of-pocket costs - your actual payment to Tesla's finance company.

ALSO, dealerships exist only to fuck customers out of useless middleman money by skimming off the top and providing overpriced service.

If you actually buy the car, the payment is quite clear on the paperwork... But really, If someone buying a $70,000 car can't float the $7500 tax refund until next year when he gets it back from taxes, then he shouldn't be buying a $70,000 car.

Re:how amusing (2)

Narcocide (102829) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943303)

You may have stumbled onto why Tesla cars are so popular amongst the people who've bought them despite all the saber-rattling the dealerships are doing.

Re:how amusing (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943253)

To be fair, however.... dealerships aren't particularly up front about that information either. You can calculate it yourself easily enough... but the figure that they advertise cars for is in my experience substantially less than what you'll actually end up forking out after all is said and done.

Re:how amusing (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943505)

Well it wasn't Shakespeare, but it wasn't Offtopic either, so +1 Underated to you sir.

Re:how amusing (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943667)

But then again, most makers that sell both direct and thru distributers/wholesalers/dealers will typically price their in-house sales to the public at full retail price (hey, lets call that the MSRP!) and heavily discount to the distributers/wholesalers/dealers, which lets the second tier dealer charge the same or less and still make $.

Re:how amusing (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943723)

I agree with you. Several months ago I priced out a Model S, and grew increasingly frustrated with their pricing "shenanigans" based on assumptions about my driving habits, rebates, phase of the moon, etc. It seemed like they were 'reaching' for the payback to make it appear as a lower payment. It's MBA's in action. I did not like it one bit. Just give me the price, or give me a true monthly payment rate, no BS shenanigans of how much my payment might appear to be. If I'm writing a check for $1100/month, don't show me that my payment is $700. So in that respect, I agree with the dealers. For everything else though, let capitalism take its course. If Tesla is doing a good job selling cars online - let them sell them. Dealers need to adapt their business model. That's what's so great about innovation - it pushes the edge.

Re:how amusing (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943429)

Telsa's claims might be misleading, but if you want a pathological lying sack of shit, look no further than your local car dealer.

Or it's the guy in back doing the actual financing. He makes sure he makes money on the front AND back end of the deals. I worked delivering new cars for a dealership for a time, and got to overhear some of the shenanigans that get pulled, including forging the customer's names to paperwork. (Leases are usually never good deals for the buyer, but the dealerships always make money on them.)

Re:how amusing (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943511)

And that is the problem. These practices are so common that if Tesla did not do them, people wouldn't look a them and go 'oh, how honest!', they will look at the prices and think they are oddly more expensive. When everyone in an industry is dishonest in the same way consumers tend to compensate, even if they do not realize it.

Re:how amusing (1)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943637)

Whaaa! I can't cheat and lie and obfuscate the truth. Whaaa!

But at least their EPA estimates are right. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943143)

After 30 years of automakers blatantly providing theoretical and incredibly optimistic EPA estimates for gas mileage, you'd think that dealers would be willing to give a little on another car maker fudging some other numbers on their site.

Re:But at least their EPA estimates are right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943699)

You mean the measurements in a windless, perfectly flat indoor area after maintenence at 55mph isn't realistic?

Re:But at least their EPA estimates are right. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943999)

Certainly they would - *IF* Tesla were letting them take a nice cut of the profits instead of marketing direct to consumers and cutting them out of the picture. Bad precedent my friend. Bad precedent. Just thing of the horrors that could be unleashed if other manufacturers started following suite and cut the mostly-useless parasitic dealerships out of the loop.

Re:But at least their EPA estimates are right. (3, Insightful)

turkeyfish (950384) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944389)

Dealerships aren't entirely parasitic. That is an overstatement of reality. There is a benefit to having a local dealership to go to when things go wrong as they always do. Murphy makes sure of that.

I really don't see the route to complaining to the DMV is going to do dealerships much good as the effort only serves to widen awareness of the economic issues involved and these are trending toward Tesla's favor. If dealers are really concerned about Tesla, they would do better to insist that the car manufacturers they buy from have a better electric car than does Tesla. Once battery swap stations become more widely available for Tesla's new 400 mile per charge battery, they better have some other alternatives or they are going to quickly start to loose business quickly. Dealerships that branch out to provide battery swaps may well be those that survive, because the 2-4000 dollars per year you can save if you don't have to buy gas is a big incentive over the life of a car becomes increasingly attractive to those with slimmer wallets, especially if lower overall maintenance costs go with it.

If you cant beat em... (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943163)

bitch about it.

Both black. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943175)

And the pot meets the kettle...

Re:Both black. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943205)

Let's not turn this into a race thing.

Re:Both black. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943407)

Have you ever noticed that car dealers are always White people or Arabs? I've never seen a Black car dealer in my entire life, anywhere. Of course I haven't been to Africa, but still. Why do you think that is? I'm sure they'd be good at hooking you up with a cheap stolen stereo, or working around the window-tint laws in your state. Or making your car a low-rider by cutting the springs. Blacks do know about and enjoy cars, after all -- they do buy plush purple velvet seats, gold wire rims, and ground-effects lighting all for $3000 Geo Metros. Hell, check out this Cutlass Supreme. Now that's class.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Both black. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943663)

I saw a show on sales techniques once that filmed as two hot chicks go in car dealerships and see how the salesmen performed...the fat bald white guy who wacks off to too much porn started getting all sweaty and creepy while the black dude was smooth as fuck and got the sale.

Re:Both black. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943691)

haha, reminds me of a joke.

So a black guy is at the dealer looking at a car. The sales guy walks over ans says, "so, you thinking about buying a Pontiac?" and the black guy says "Oh, I'm gonna buy dis here car. What I's thinkin' 'bout is pussy!"

let's all shed a tear for car dealers (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943177)

there's a reason why they call it disruptive technology, scumbags

we don't need you

Re:let's all shed a tear for car dealers (2)

sconeu (64226) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943271)

Hey, car dealers!!!

I've got a buggy whip business I'm willing to franchise out to you!!!

no problem (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943199)

I'm sure car dealers will have no troubles rallying massive grassroots support to put a stop to this menace to a cherished American institution.

Re:no problem (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943529)

I am sure they will find a way. If not directly, they will try it indirectly like associating Tesla with political movements that make them sound socialist or otherwise un-american... or they will associate them with the _wrong_ elites (i.e. not the rich sexy people who deserve all they have and are better then us, but the wrong rich people who do not deserve their wealth and think they are better then us)... stuff like that. More then one way to convince consumers to screw themselves as long as you can tie your business needs to some pre-existing social narrative.

Re:no problem (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943713)

If not directly, they will try it indirectly like associating Tesla with political movements that make them sound socialist or otherwise un-american...

Didn't Al Gore invent the electric car? Isn't that all you need to know?

But seriously, this is clearly "sour grapes". Can there really be any reasonable reason why a consumer products company should not sell their product to anyone who wants to buy it?

Re:no problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943647)

I'm sure car dealers will have no troubles rallying massive grassroots support to put a stop to this menace to a cherished American institution.

Yeah, from politicians.

Re:no problem (1)

schlachter (862210) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943709)

what's the point of a car dealer anyhow. i'd rather buy directly from the manufacturer.

Re:no problem (3, Insightful)

_Ludwig (86077) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943941)

The manufacturers generally don’t want the hassle of owning and managing a nation-wide network of storefronts. As with any large retail franchise, having independent dealers provides them with a buffer of sorts: If the manufacturer’s much-hyped new model turns out to be a lemon, it’s the dealers who are stuck with the inventory. If a dealership goes out of business for whatever reason, it’s no skin off the company’s teeth.

Dealerships exist for the convenience of the manufacturers, not the customers.

Free Enterprise! (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943217)

Ain't free enterprise great in America? You can do anything, as long as you cut the vested interests in for a piece of the action. Thankfully though we're not a bunch of economically ignorant Neanderthals that would do something stupid like put a nickel tariff on a pair of socks. That would be interfering in commerce!

Re:Free Enterprise! (4, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943453)

I think the reason we don't do heavy tariffs anymore is because it's already known that they only serve to damage the local economy. Sure you might save the sock salesman's job, but it'll have a much greater cost elsewhere in the economy that isn't immediately obvious.

Say we put that nickel tariff on socks, does that make Canada (or any country for that matter) find our socks more attractive than China's? Nope, in fact they're now less attractive because they cost more here. In Canada the sock prices will go down, but ours will be more likely to remain higher (That's the whole point right? Otherwise why bother with this tariff?) Everybody needs socks though, so we all pay more for socks here than Canada might pay (because they don't have said tariff.) Since Canada now pays less for socks, they also now have more money to spend on other things than we do. So in the end, we've crippled our own economy relative to theirs by sticking that tariff on there.

Historically this holds true - imports and domestic production rise and fall with one another. If you add that tariff to slow those imports, you're guaranteed to not only reduce exports, but you're also going to kill local jobs.

Go have a look at the effect of the Smoot-Hawley tariff act. That was the cause of the great depression. It is the ultimate lesson to be learned about tariffs and why mercantilism is flat out wrong on so many levels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQQon4tjlSA [youtube.com]

Personally I think we should get rid of all tariffs. Corporations love tariffs by the way - and so do unions. They want tariffs so that they can protect themselves against competition and raise prices instead of competing proper. They do this at the expense of somebody else's job somewhere else, not really giving a fuck about them.

Re:Free Enterprise! (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943569)

"the" cause huh?

Sorry, but such a complex historical event can not be simplified to a single 'cause'. Then again, your entire argument reeks of simplification. A good tax strategy requires careful balancing of multiple types since they ALL have consequences. Tarrifs benefit some segments and hurt others, same with personal income, sales, property, license, and pretty much any other tax type. All of them try to take a cut of economic movement, but if you cut too deeply into one type or another it just moves elsewhere or breaks down.

Re:Free Enterprise! (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944095)

Of course it benefits some segments, I don't think anybody will argue against that one.

Just it benefits them at an even bigger cost to somebody else, which is a rather dick move. I often get accused of being a cold hearted libertarian, yet the people who make those accusations seem to think that having the government protect your job while kicking somebody else to the curb is such a nice benevolent thing to do.

It's not just jobs that this impacts though. I mean the sugar sellers love not having to compete, which is partly why in America our traditional meals always include high fructose corn syrup. Also keep in mind that this isn't quite the same as a tax - strictly speaking, a tax is designed to collect revenue, whereas a tariff is designed to protect a market against competition. Does it collect revenue? Yeah, but it's discriminatory with the explicit intention of lowering sales.

Re:Free Enterprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943707)

... Everybody needs socks though, so we all pay more for socks here than Canada might pay (because they don't have said tariff.) ...

Have you been shopping in Canada? I live in USA near the border and with very few exceptions everything costs more in Canada. The Canuks come here to shop, and save money.

Re:Free Enterprise! (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943755)

You helped prove my point. The whole issue of unnecessary rent seeking middle men like car dealerships, and how they get their cozy little businesses locked in by law, passes you by without comment. Meanwhile, a nickel tariff on socks merits a treatise on the wonders of "free trade". Hint 1: a nickel on a pair of socks ain't Smoot-Hawley. Hint 2: the political lock-in of car dealerships costs you a lot more than a nickel on a pair of imported socks would. That was kinda my point.

Re:Free Enterprise! (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943951)

Either that or somebody else may have said something on the matter that I already agreed with, and I didn't feel the need to add anything about it.

Just maybe.

Re:Free Enterprise! (1)

stoploss (2842505) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944085)

Do you honestly think that anyone advocating free enterprise supports these rent-seeking middlemen?

I think you will find that we are against tariffs *and* these fucking car dealers/real estate agents/funeral home directors/alcohol distributors/whoever else gets their goddamn business model made mandatory by the government. I mean, coercing someone to use your services by force of law is the antithesis of free enterprise.

So, were you deliberately trying to use a strawman fallacy to mischaracterize free enterprise supporters, or was your comment intended to be a satirical, "scummy politicians who enable crony capitalism are scum" implication? The latter I can certainly agree with.

You helped prove my point. The whole issue of unnecessary rent seeking middle men like car dealerships, and how they get their cozy little businesses locked in by law, passes you by without comment. Meanwhile, a nickel tariff on socks merits a treatise on the wonders of "free trade".

Ah, okay, then it's probably strawman. To illustrate your fallacy, I refer you to the cliched joke:

Hitler walks up to Stalin and says, "I will kill six million Jews and one clown!"
Stalin says, "Why are you going to kill one clown?"
Hitler turns to Himmler and says, "See? I told you no one cares about the Jews!"

You infer too much from the absence of specific commentary. I mean, god damn, no one likes middle men. Hm, except if they call themselves "union", then apparently those are good & righteous according to certain political bents.

Delissio... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944337)

If Delissio wants to sell pizza in MY neigbourhood, then I want a slice!

I have a Tesla S (5, Informative)

technical_maven (2756487) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943223)

It is a stupendous car, the ordering and delivery process was a dream, and the customer support after the sale has been flawless. The other dealers can simply go pound sand! Rather than bitching, try doing everything right like Tesla!

You're welcome... (1)

GoChickenFat (743372) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943939)

If they were doing everything right then why the need for the tax credit? Shouldn't it stand on its own without tax payers subsidizing the purchase? I have a coworker that just bought the P85 and says the same thing about the company and experience. The car is cool as hell and it's unusual to see a car without a tailpipe. I just don't think its reasonable for tax payers to fund this obvious luxury purchase. Not only that...he's no longer paying for gas or the gas taxes that pay for the roads he drives it on.

Re:You're welcome... (2)

Nimey (114278) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944081)

Air pollution and the relative lack thereof, duh.

Re: You're welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944131)

Where the hell have you been for the past, I don't know, 50 years?

ALL new advancing technology implemented into society gets a tax break or business subsidy.

Look at solar cells now. The 5 years ago. Then 10-15 years ago.

It's nothing more than government motivating buyers to try new things, and jump start new industry. If it's something other than that, I'd sure like to know.

And before you bring corn ethanol into the argument, lobbying is the curse bound to that clusterfuck.

Re:You're welcome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944209)

Calculate the total tax subsidy of avg gas car then get back to us. Starting with the cost of oil wars averaged over gas consumed by the avg car over it's lifetime.

Ford Vs Musk (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943227)

Henry Ford fought the cartel of car manufacturers called American Motor Manufacturers Association which claimed patent rights to the automobile and demanded royalty payment for all car makers. Ford defied them, fought them all the way to the Supreme Court and won back in 1900s. Hope Musk fights the dealers, their cartels and their political shenanigans and win. As soon as I can afford it, I will buy a Tesla.

Re:Ford Vs Musk (5, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943383)

Not to troll, but i wonder what would happen in the "IP" era of the US economy? If Ford tried this today would he still win or would the "patent holders"?

Re:Ford Vs Musk (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943565)

Round wheels for an automobile would be patented and so would using 4 of them and a wheel to steer etc.

They would file an injunction taking Ford out of the market claiming he had to use square wheels only and a rope and yore to steer. Ford would go out of business while appealing and would loose.

Re:Ford Vs Musk (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943561)

Remember the Tucker automobile. No? They were run out by the cartels in the 40's. Seems like a similar situation. Far from being a bastion of free market enterprise Big Business does not want competition they want monopoly. They want to tell the consumer what to buy and they will use any dirty trick they can to ensure their fiefdoms remain secure. Big Business and lawyers have done more to destroy the USian dream than anything else. Far from encouraging innovation and free enterprise they systematically stiffle it at every turn. I am a conservative (not a republican). and hate what our system has become.

Re:Ford Vs Musk (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943717)

Remember the Tucker automobile. No? They were run out by the cartels in the 40's.

I know this is a common belief about Tucker, but it was a shitty car. Tucker was a car salesman, not an engineer.

Re:Ford Vs Musk (1)

Shompol (1690084) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944057)

That's not what Wikipedia thinks [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ford Vs Musk (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943989)

This type of protectionism (like the Texas law) would seem to be a direct violation of the commerce clause of the US constitution. Some industries do seem to have this sort of protectionism in place - particularly alcohol sales where most states have distributorship monopolies and prevent direct marketing to consumers from out of state wineries and distilleries.

Still, it would appear that there is some hope. Earlier this year a federal court struck down a similar law in Louisiana that prevented direct-to-consumer sales of coffins. [reason.com] There is some ambiguity as this case was decided on the nonsensical and arbitrary nature of the regulations - but the court did indicate that they also would have struck it down on interstate commerce grounds.

America: land of the middlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943247)

We haven't had a successful direct-to-consumer manufacturing relationship since the 1900s.

Re:America: land of the middlemen (1)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943583)

Middlemen stuff is where the money is, and were there is profit to be made people push into the segment and make it as difficult as possible to avoid them.

Oh, the paragons of virtue! (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943249)

From the article:

It recently blasted Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] by accusing it of deceptive marketing and pricing practices in the information it shows on its website.

The "It" in this quote is the auto dealers, a very well known group to be the paragons of virtue and personification of integrity when it comes to selling automobiles and providing accurate information.

Please. Stop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943263)

"It's official, NetCraft confirms it: The conventional heat engine is dying.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered conventional heat engine community when IDC confirmed that conventional car maker market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of all car sales. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that conventional heat engines have lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. The conventional car market is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Motor Trend comprehensive car test."

Seriously, I don't think Microsoft even astroturfed this much when Apache gave IIS the reach-around. You know what would be nice? A moratorium on Tesla posts for a while. There is no new information in any of them.

Re:Please. Stop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943719)

Then don't click them, stupid.

And of course we *ALL* know how misleading... (1)

mark-t (151149) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943285)

... auto manufacturers can be about real-world gas consumption of their vehicles.

I'd call it even, personally.

Re:And of course we *ALL* know how misleading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943423)

Musk should counter the dealers by financing a class-action lawsuit against their own deceptive marketing practices. Give 'em a taste of their own medicine.

Re:And of course we *ALL* know how misleading... (1)

mjwx (966435) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944377)

... auto manufacturers can be about real-world gas consumption of their vehicles.

I'd call it even, personally.

But the complaint was made by car dealers, not car manufacturers.

The best dealer makes the worst manufacturer look like the paragon of truth and honesty.

You know it's the future... (5, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943289)

...when companies are fighting it.

Re:You know it's the future... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943319)

I guess we're past the ignoring and laughing phases.

Re:You know it's the future... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943415)

+1 insightful

Dealers Have Much Worse Ads! (5, Interesting)

Webcommando (755831) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943355)

From the fine article:

Tesla fails to provide required information and shatters the notion of comparison finance shopping by including the potential availability of incentives, gas savings, and tax savings into final payment quotes for prospective customers.

So the beef is that Tesla isn't being clear about everything and that upsets the dealers. hmm..

In my local paper, the dealers have ads in every Sunday that advertise a low price. As it was a few weeks ago, I was looking to buy a minivan for the family (I'm not completely domesticate, I still have my convertible). Great price of $22k for a Town and Country...pretty amazing actually. Way at the bottom of the ad were the caveats--includes first car buyer discount, veteran discount, bonus trade-in amount, etc.

Looking at the discounts there was no way you could be eligible for all of them at the same time. In my case, none of them. Yeah, those Tesla guys are devious and misleading.

Re:Dealers Have Much Worse Ads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943581)

I'm sure car dealer ads are bad, but I'm annoyed how slashdot has turned into an ongoing commercial for Tesla. It's ridiculous how many stories they run on a niche, expensive vehicle. Just get it over with and make a section dedicated to them, so I can ignore it.

Re:Dealers Have Much Worse Ads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943775)

How could you get both a first car buyer discount AND a trade-in bonus?

Re: Dealers Have Much Worse Ads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944069)

The first car I bought, I traded in the car my parents gave me when I got my drivers license.

Re:Dealers Have Much Worse Ads! (4, Funny)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,29 days | (#44944185)

How could you get both a first car buyer discount AND a trade-in bonus?

Simple: trade in a car that you didn't buy. I believe GTA5 can provide you with a tutorial for procuring such a vehicle.

Those poor car dealers (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943363)

Just trying to make an honest livi---

wait

Re:Those poor car dealers (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943593)

Well, if you call that living...

If you're not with us, you're against us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943507)

Where is it written that we have to pick exactly one "good guy" and one "bad guy" in every conflict, cheering one blindly and booing the other mercilessly?

Does fact that car dealerships are mounting a buggy-whip-industry-protection campaign mean that Tesla earns a free pass on what really is some pretty deceptive marketing practices?

A plague on both their houses. If you want honestly, you're not getting it from anyone associated with the auto industry.

CNCDA - Pure as Driven Snow (5, Informative)

sk999 (846068) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943527)

It is really shameful that Tesla is misleading customers with deceptive advertising about its electric cars. Here is a part of the complaint:

"... the Association says that purchase prices on Tesla's website routinely include a $7,500 federal TAX CREDIT, despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office states that only 20 percent of shoppers qualify for the alternative vehicle credit."

None of the members of the California New Car Dealer's Association would ever stoop so low. Especially GENERAL MOTORS dealers. Especially since, according to this report: http://cncda.org/resources/10-20-08_CNCDA_Ltr-GMAC_CEO_Alvaro_deMolina.pdf [cncda.org] GENERAL MOTORS dealers represent over 25% of CDCDA's members. Surely none of them would ...

Oh wait.

http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html [chevrolet.com]

"Chevrolet 2014 Volt"
"Net price shown includes the FULL $7,500 TAX CREDIT"

Never mind, move along, nothing to see.

Re:CNCDA - Pure as Driven Snow (1)

retchdog (1319261) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943763)

When the system is to try and make as much money as possible, how many Fair-Handed Champions of Equality and Justice do you expect? Of course people are only going to complain about the competition. The point is that the competition will do the same. If competition is too brittle to function in this padded jungle gym, then an entire free market would be a complete non-starter.

btw, the chevy site gives only a pricing guideline since they're not selling the vehicle; the dealer is. Tesla is the actual dealer. Whether or not this is a Real Difference to you depends on how much you read between the lines, but legally it is an important distinction.

Re:CNCDA - Pure as Driven Snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943885)

1) Not sure why you're picking on the Volt as your example vs. any of the other EVs. GM has nothing to do with this lawsuit, or any control over the California dealer association. GM dealers (not GM) may make up 25% of that association - so who are the other 75? Toyota? Go piss on the Prius.

2) You just so happened to leave off the last 2 characters from your quote of the Chevrolet website.

          Price after tax savings. Net price shown includes the full $7,500 tax credit*1

          Foot Note:
          1. Each individual's tax situation is unique. Consult your tax professional prior to claiming any credits to confirm the vehicle tax benefits for which you may be eligible. Must be applied by the owner after the purchase of a new Chevrolet Volt.

The Tesla website has no such explanation. It just says:

"Electric vehicle incentives range from $7,500 to $15,000 depending on your state and offset your down payment."

Re:CNCDA - Pure as Driven Snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943927)

Back here in NY state, Mercedes/smart dealers are doing the same thing -- the smart electric is advertized including the full federal tax credit. Not all smart car buyers are going to be in the top tax bracket...

Note to anyone looking for a smart electric -- I just visited a dealer (who was very friendly, not smarmy like the usual car sales person) and found out they are offering ~$5000 rebates on the last 2013 models. Including the tax credit the bottom line is like $15K, very low price for a new electric car (less than half a Nissan Leaf?). 2014 smart electrics are due in a few weeks.

My guess is Mercedes have to move a certain number of these tiny electric cars to balance out their high gas consumption big cars, or else face gas guzzler penalties. Or in other words, the smart e rebate is tacked onto the price of the S-class.

Re:CNCDA - Pure as Driven Snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44944087)

cheater. you read the article.

Ah, yes. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943533)

Remember this next time some businessman says he shouldn't be regulated because competition will sort everything out.

Re:Ah, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943673)

Competition does sort everything out. This is simply "extreme competition" - buying influence to remove competitors by alternative means is a perfectly legitimate technique when competing to the death. Sometimes that means buying lawmakers, sometimes it means buying mercenaries. Welcome to true global competition.

Car dealers in the same bunch (2)

Stumbles (602007) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943651)

Car dealers are in the same boat as the media industry. Totally clueless how to adapt to the information age. Maybe at one time it made sense but not any more.

pot.. meet kettle.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943671)

kettle.. meet pot.

car dealers have been using "deceptive marketing and pricing practices" for decades.

the car dealers association must be about as brain dead as other industry 'associations'.. the DMV has no jurisdiction here... try the state attorney's office --- or are they afraid that the state a.g. would turn around and investigate its members (the dealers), too.

And why would the DMV enforce this complaint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943687)

The DMV is not the proper authority to worry about fair business practices.

Perhaps the auto dealers should next complain to every state organization...

The DMV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44943789)

Ooooh, the Division of Motor Vehicles!
They'll take care of it!
I heard that when national and state car dealership associations took a number, it was 3503.
MV is now serving number 12.
Read a magazine, boys.

Dear US car dealerships... (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943903)

You guys used to serve a valuable purpose. Yes, you've always screwed us as hard as you could get away with, but hey, can't fault you for following the American Way to the American Dream.

But now? Congratulations, the internet has made you nothing more than the place I go to test drive your products before I let the nearest 50 of you bid against each other for my next buy (and don't think I won't buy from the other side of the country if someone there has a good enough sale going on to cover the cost of shipping the damned thing to me).

You had a good run. Congratulations. Now cash out before you run out of cash. Simple as that.

Please, go down gracefully. Don't let this turn into yet another "when you can't compete, legislate" disaster. That just never goes well for the "legacy" side of the battle.

Rent seeking (2)

brianerst (549609) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943909)

Of course, we'll get a bunch of comments on how this proves that business men are hypocrites because they are against regulation accept where it benefits them and how stupid the libertarians are.

But this is precisely the libertarian argument - if government becomes (overly) involved in business, rent seeking behavior is the natural result. Capitalism is a cruel mistress and businesses routinely fail, so they look for any edge they can get.

In a lightly regulated market with low barriers to entry, they have to compete on service, price, convenience, etc. In a more heavily regulated market, first movers and existing and heavily capitalized businesses look to create new barriers to entry to prevent competition and create artificial scarcity to keep prices high. This can be via licensing (taxis and beauticians), regulations that have high fixed costs but low per unit/worker costs, monopoly/captive markets like dealerships and liquor distribution, and other regulatory structures that that favor fewer, larger firms to more, smaller firms.

Ironically, the dealership structure began as a true capitalist trade-off - dealership networks allowed automobile companies to become large, centralized and efficient by helping to limit their capital costs - as inventory was created, it was immediately purchased and distributed across the country to local sources of capital. Car manufacturers got less money per vehicle but could concentrate their capital on plants, raw goods, workforces, etc. That dealership network absorbed a huge amount of the capital costs of the vehicles themselves. Once a lot of the manufacturers' fixed costs were paid off, the dealers saw the writing on the wall and used their local political connections to modify state laws everywhere to fix the existing model in place.

Playing devil's advocate for one minute, the summary is misleading when it says dealers are "working behind the scenes to change state laws". In fact, they are working in the open to preserve the existing state laws - Tesla was the company attempting to have various laws changed to their benefit (in the Texas case, to their sole benefit as it was very narrowly written). That said, I would prefer a more broadly written version of the "Tesla law" to prevail.

My Proposed Solution (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | 1 year,29 days | (#44943945)

I propose we round up all the individual dealers responsible for this reprehensible behavior, line them up, and one by one, deliver to them a good swift kick in the jimmies.

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