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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the not-on-our-playing-field dept.

Transportation 455

cartechboy writes It's no secret that the National Automobile Dealers Association has been trying to block Tesla from selling cars directly from consumers, but to date, it has been defeated countless times in many states. Now NADA put out a release and promotional video touting the benefits of dealer franchises, something Tesla has shunned. NADA mentions price competition, consumer safety, local economic benefits, and added value.

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Speculation... (5, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47267655)

While possibly true, it's complete speculation to tie this to Tesla.

But hey, Tesla gets page views.

Re:Speculation... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268039)

How is it not tied to Tesla? All cars in the US are sold at dealerships, well at least all cars you don't put together yourself that you order from the back of a magazine. Tesla rolls in recently and is the ONLY one not using dealerships. Why would the NADA have to start pimping themselves if people never had an option not to use a dealer? Car dealers are SCUM. They are leaches. Their goal is nothing but to separate you from as much money as they can. Remember that the next time you are sitting at a salesmans desk that is out in the open on the sales floor with a lot of hustle and bustle around, people walking by and they are playing music over the speakers in the showroom relatively loud. There is a reason they do those two things and its not for your benefit. Ask them why that ONE car stock number 7782 that was advertised for 12,888 is not in stock and why the advertised price on another car is $15,800 but that assumes every rebate that you cant possibly get and $5000 down and then another $1000 for a doc fee plus a delivery change of $781. It's not 15,800. Why not just advertise it on your site or the paper for $1000 and add a $18,000 deliver charge? What's the difference? Again they are SCUM. People only kind of like dealers that only do most of those things, it is relative. That is sad. If you like a dealer, it is because you got ripped off and you didn't even know it.

Helping the local jobs and economy argument is bullshit. If that was the case, let's create dealerships for everything and we will all be rich, all have jobs, and be debt free. Same as the RIAA/MPAA arguments. Money does not grow on trees and people do not have a limitless supply. People would spend the money they spent at a dealer somewhere else, possibly at another local store with local employees. Cars still need to be repaired and parts bought for them, that will still happen with or without a dealership.

Re:Speculation... (4, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 months ago | (#47268305)

You didn't mention the plad suits; why?

Re:Speculation... (5, Funny)

dishpig (877882) | about 2 months ago | (#47268405)

He couldn't find the 'i'.

Re:Speculation... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47268113)

While possibly true, it's complete speculation to tie this to Tesla.

But hey, Tesla gets page views.

Not really. Tesla doesn't really have the volume (or the low end offerings) to eat the dealerships' bread and butter(except possibly some relatively niche outfits who used to sell a lot more ~100k ICE vehicles to techies made good); but they have been extremely aggressive about 100% company-owned and operated sales locations, and have skirted the laws in various ways ("Information centers" that look sort of like a dealership except that the staff are forbidden to sell you anything, just show you stuff and you can go use that computer over there to buy online if you want...) in states where the dealerships have purchased protective legislation.

Barring a radical overthrow of the automotive order, Tesla isn't personally going to terminate dealerships; but if their model holds up, persuades lawmakers, survives in court in more hostile states, etc. it can be copied pretty much verbatim by any manufacturer that cares to.

And the NADA can't exactly be ignorant of how...beloved...a traditional industry it is that they represent. Merely seriously proposing that we could eliminate car dealers, in our time!, probably excites more people than fancy electric cars do. This isn't one of those "Upstart company disrupts traditional business right in the face, laughs" situations where hand-wringing moralists write books about the moral decline and inevitable decadence of our civilization occasioned by the hardships of the traditional business.

Re:Speculation... (4, Insightful)

demachina (71715) | about 2 months ago | (#47268277)

Tesla's 3rd generation car is supposed to be a mass market vehicle that may disrupt the "automotive order" if Musk manages to build it. The giga battery factory he is looking for a home for is a critical component since it is critical to have enough affordable batteries for a mass market electric car.

Tesla today wont disrupt NADA, but Tesla in a few years very well may, they know it, so they are trying to nip it in the bud.

Re:Speculation... (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 months ago | (#47268335)

Barring a radical overthrow of the automotive order, Tesla isn't personally going to terminate dealerships; but if their model holds up, persuades lawmakers, survives in court in more hostile states, etc. it can be copied pretty much verbatim by any manufacturer that cares to.

In fact, the ones that they fear is not tesla, but China. If Tesla opens the door this way, then the Chinese companies will come to America in exactly the same fashion.

Re:Speculation... (5, Insightful)

hendrips (2722525) | about 2 months ago | (#47268341)

Indeed, I moderately dislike Tesla generally and Elon Musk specifically, and I'm neutral on both electric cars and luxury cars. Nevertheless, I'm cheering myself hoarse for Tesla in this fight. I'd cheer equally for just about anyone who would make a similar effort to reduce the amount of sliminess involved in car purchases.

Re:Speculation... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 months ago | (#47268415)

Not really. Tesla doesn't really have the volume (or the low end offerings) to eat the dealerships' bread and butter(except possibly some relatively niche outfits

If you consider BMW niche, then yes.

If I walk round my office car park, I see more Teslas parked here than BMWs. Considering the number of years that BMW has been selling cars, that' s pretty amazing. In all fairness, I should mention that the Tesla factory is just a few miles up the road, so I live in prime territory for Tesla.

Could the Tesla circle jerk be any more open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267669)

I can understand the admiration for the technology and the hope it gives to some here but we're really analyzing the comings and goings of the NADA over this? WTF is next?
 
If this was anyone but Tesla it'd be a total non-starter.

Re:Could the Tesla circle jerk be any more open? (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 2 months ago | (#47267805)

I believe this has greater significance than merely a turf war in some backwater market. We have a direct connection between development of a new technology and the challenging of a significant evil of the developed world, institutionalized rent-seeking. A similar thing is happening with the ride sharing services challenging taxis and other escort businesses.

Re:Could the Tesla circle jerk be any more open? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267819)

First I heard that ride sharing services were challenging the escort business.

Are these ride sharing services over Craigslist, perchance?

Re:Could the Tesla circle jerk be any more open? (3, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 months ago | (#47268471)

ride sharing an escort - eeew.

We should have a choice (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267679)

There will always be a need for car dealerships, but there is no good reason to ban direct sales. This is pure rent-seeking behavior. The dealerships should position themselves as Tesla's partners in buying/selling used Teslas and in repairs.

Re:We should have a choice (5, Interesting)

metac0rtex (3682733) | about 2 months ago | (#47267725)

They are only crying because this a market they don't have cornered. Actual competition is terrifying to "free market capitalists". NADA can fuck right off.

Re:We should have a choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267937)

I wouldn't have a problem with them claiming all of this information if it was not illegal for a manufacturer to sell a car directly and there was tangible evidence to suggest these claims at all. Propping up your business model by making yours the only legal way of doing business is not good for the economy. Just look at the credit card industry.

Maybe we should just start saying car dealerships are anti-American and unpatriotic because they support abortion (of permitting the American people to choose how we purchase our cars).

Re:We should have a choice (1)

mOzone (1447147) | about 2 months ago | (#47267997)

the big 3 dont care . its not cutting into any of there markets realy and people who buy teslas all ready have car sitting next to it in driveway its a cod peice at best . when tesla has a car that can go coast to coast with same or fewer stops as a gas car then they will freak . till then its a bunch of hype a cod peice

Re:We should have a choice (3, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 2 months ago | (#47268229)

265 miles isn't far enough for you? You also get *free* charging at their stations.

Re:We should have a choice (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47268561)

when tesla has a car that can go coast to coast

How often do you think most people drive "coast to coast"?

My wife's car is four years old and has never been more than 100 miles away from home. And since she shares a birthday and ethnicity with Nikolai Tesla, she's bugging me about wanting to get one. She'd be the perfect customer for one if we had that kind of coin to throw around. Which we don't. And if we did, I'd be angling for an Audi R8. Say, do they make a hybrid Audi R8?

Re:We should have a choice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268165)

Riiiight... the auto industry is unregulated and free market...
 
Jesus fuck, shut up until you know what you're talking about. You took a thimble's worth of knowledge and tried to act like you've just sailed the seas.

Re:We should have a choice (4, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 2 months ago | (#47268439)

They are only crying because this a market they don't have cornered.

Actual competition is terrifying to "free market capitalists".

No it's not. It's terrifying to cronies who use crony capitalism to keep a grip on their markets through government "regulation".

Re:We should have a choice (5, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47267879)

"There will always be a need for car dealerships,..."

Yes, because we just love to give cuts to as many people as possible for our purchases.

I remember fondly the days when we couldn't buy computers, hairdryers, video recorders and even luggage containers in a supermarket, because those needed 'special' vendors with 'secret' knowledge.

forewarned is forearmed (3, Insightful)

epine (68316) | about 2 months ago | (#47268101)

"There will always be a need for car dealerships,..."

But everyone knows what that conveys, even the dealers themselves:

We've been printing money for a long time by bilking our customers for costly extras, and even though they often know this and resent it deeply, until now there hasn't been a credible alternative, so they just squeal to silently to themselves, then come back for more. With recent developments, that's going to change real darn fast if we don't (A) somehow force the competition out of business, or (B) do a prompt about-face in our shifty business practices, or (C) both at the same time with the intent of achieving the first option ASAP.

Of course, this divides ranks with the dealership community itself, as the old guys close to retirement are going to continuing milking their cash cow by any means available, as the younger guys start to worry about their long term futures when the backlash strikes, which the old guys are doing nothing whatsoever to abate sooner rather than later.

They say that society is "only" three square meals from anarchy. That's a lot, actually. I estimate that the fraternal order of the car dealership is only two snifters of brandy and one Cuban cigar's worth of suggested forbearance away from king-sized flop house crossfire.

Re:We should have a choice (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47268185)

If anything, given the rather limited distribution of spare parts, maintenance expertise, and the like, Tesla is actually the outfit where the 'dealer' would largely be the holder of the secret knowledge. They've just made the decision that the 'dealer' is always going to be a direct extension of their customer service apparatus, rather than an independent operator.

From my (admittedly quick and unscientific) sampling of the owner forums, stories involving technical trouble almost always end with some Tesla minions whisking the vehicle away, working some cryptic mechanical magic, and updating the firmware. By comparison, all but the most esoteric internal combustion units are a mere commonplace for the local independent mechanics, with much of the push for dealer-provided service being sustained by assorted fairly heavy handed artificial lock in, and still only moderately effective.

Now, given the sometimes perverse incentives of the middlemen, Tesla may be wise to have decided that sales and maintenance are too important to be left to car dealers; but they are about as far in the 'secret knowledge' direction as anybody in the business, they just don't let a third party in on the interaction.

Local Dealerships (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | about 2 months ago | (#47267721)

Wow, local dealerships sound AWESOME!

Re:Local Dealerships (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 months ago | (#47268125)

What a joke. Check out my local dealership here in Texas: http://www.penskeautomotive.co... [penskeautomotive.com]

Bet they're local to quite a few people in the US. And Germany. And Italy. And the UK. And Puerto Rico.

Re:Local Dealerships (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268343)

Not to mention that in my area, all three Chevrolet dealers are owned by the same company but have completely different names that sound like FirstName Lastname Chevrolet. They also own all the Ford, Toyota, Honda and a few others whose names I cannot remember. I'd have to go 50 miles to get one that isn't and this is a metro of 600,000 people.

Slow News Day? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267727)

So far it seems that NADA has happen.

selling cars directly from consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267737)

I'd be afraid of consumers selling tesla too. Be afraid of the used car market! /s

Change is coming for car dealers (4, Insightful)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 2 months ago | (#47267753)

Not specifically Tesla, but electric cars don't have alot of things that car dealers make money with (oil changes, engine work, transmission work and on and on). Alot of dealerships make much of their profits from such things, so what Tesla represents is scary change - of course that change is coming whether driven by Tesla or someone else.

So the dealers have alot of money, alot of friends and will do what they can to gum up the works for (or kill) Tesla and what it represents if they can. JMHO...

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (4, Informative)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 months ago | (#47267851)

a lot

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47267921)

pendant

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (2)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 2 months ago | (#47268121)

I think you mean "pedant"

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (2)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 2 months ago | (#47268143)

pendant - a hanging ornament. I can't tell if you are being subversively sarcastic or just can't spell pedant.

Re: Change is coming for car dealers (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 months ago | (#47268279)

Mormon.

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268487)

It's Charlie Mopps. Trolls always be trollin.

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268515)

I can't tell if you are being subversively sarcastic or just can't spell pedant.

'Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to flex one's fingers and remove all doubt.

No such thing as maintenance free car (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47267915)

"Not specifically Tesla, but electric cars don't have alot of things that car dealers make money"

Electric cars need tires. Electric cars need brakes. Electric cars will have safety recalls. Electric cars can be in accidents. Electric cars can be broken into.

I don't claim to know much about electric cars, but if it has moving parts it will be need to be serviced at some point.

I don't think you thought your post through.

Re:No such thing as maintenance free car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268001)

Nobody has claimed that there will be no need for auto mechanics and tire stores. None of the things you mention are services that necessarily have to be performed by a dealership...

Re:No such thing as maintenance free car (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 2 months ago | (#47268337)

I had said: Electric cars will have safety recalls.
You said: None of the things you mention are services that necessarily have to be performed by a dealership...

Safety recall fixes have to be done at a dealership. Like when GM issues a recall for the ignition switch that can catch a car on fire.

Re:No such thing as maintenance free car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268057)

All issues that can be dealt with by either the manufacturer, or an auto mechanic.

I don't think you thought your post through.

Change is coming for car dealers (1)

mOzone (1447147) | about 2 months ago | (#47267939)

tesla will be something when it can go coast to coast down back roads w/o fear of where we gonna charge this at right now its a cod peice for people who have a range rover or benz setting next to it in the driveway

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 months ago | (#47268027)

Tesla can do all that right now. All they need to do is place a generator on a trailer and tow it with them.

I know what you meant though. And with Tesla opening up the charging patents and trying to get a standard going, it won't be long before you won't need the trailer. Well, it will still be long but not in my life time probably went out the window.

Now, I'm not a Tesla fan by any means. At least not until I heard that they were working to solve some of my biggest complaints about EVs by actually sharing and creating a standard that can be easily implemented around the country. Right now, the only EV I actually would own is a Golf Cart but the gas and propane versions seem to be much better. That may change soon.

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268053)

How often do you drive back roads coast to coast? Does anyone?

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268517)

If he bothers to reply to you at all, he'll tell you "all day every day" and when you call him out on that, he'll reply with "well when it can drive from Thule Greenland to Antarctica without fear blah blah" and when you mention that you can't do that with any car made today, he'll come back with "well it's just shit then and we don't need them." I've already argued endlessly with these guys. Goalpost moving and Perfection fallacies are their primary weapon. Well, goalpost moving, appeals to perfection, and an almost fanatical devotion to dismissing counterpoints are their 2 main weapons. I'll come back in....

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268065)

It's not about Tesla or electric cars. They don't want the regular automobile manufacturers selling directly to people via the internet.

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about 2 months ago | (#47268201)

...electric cars don't have alot of things that car dealers make money with ... . Alot of dealerships make much of their profits from such things, ... . So the dealers have alot of money, alot of friends ...

Just between you and me, "alot" is not a word, although it could be a misspelling of the verb "allot". In this case, you mean "a lot" (two words), as in many. As for style, it may have been deliberate, but generally it's distracting when a word or phrase is needlessly repeated so often in just a few sentences, especially when there is so much else to choose from, e.g. "many", "plenty of", "large numbers of", "(is/are) flush with (cash)", "lots of", etc.

But, now that you have my attention, I agree with your opinion. That's crony capitalism for you; it's the downside of deregulation and industry knows it (which the best way I can think of to fight in general is to get money out of politics [wolf-pac.com] ). Let's hope other vehicle manufacturers follow Tesla's example.

Re:Change is coming for car dealers (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 2 months ago | (#47268315)

"alot" is not a word

Sure it is. [blogspot.com]

Everyone loves car dealers! (5, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 months ago | (#47267757)

They are great, they protect the consumer, ensure fair prices, charge fair prices for repairs, ensure you don't get ripped off, the list goes on! Good for them, Tesla deserves a beat down for trying to get rid of these middle men.

Oh, jk.

Re:Everyone loves car dealers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267857)

If we didn't have car dealerships, I don't know *where* I'd buy a car from! /s

Re:Everyone loves car dealers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268309)

Amazon?

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267771)

"The current franchised new-car dealer model has benefited consumers, manufacturers and local communities for nearly a century"

Said nobody ever.

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267841)

"The current franchised new-car dealer model has benefited consumers, manufacturers and local communities for nearly a century"

Said nobody ever.

That is wrong. They have provided our culture with a go-to slimy salesman image. What would the story of Matilda be without her father stuffing sawdust into transmissions? I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Potter's uncle was a used car salesman.

Re:Yeah right (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 2 months ago | (#47268175)

Vernon's a director of the Grunnings drill manufacturing company.

Its the margins they are scared of losing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267807)

The margins for dealer sold cars are HUGE, thousands and thousands of dollars in commission for the better sales guys per car. Now imagine if Tesla ruined that market made cars cheaper for everybody.. of course these guys are scared of Tesla, if they are a success doing this nobody will want to use a dealer and the price of all cars will go down so they lose out on that margin.

Re:Its the margins they are scared of losing. (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 months ago | (#47267947)

The margins for dealer sold cars are HUGE, thousands and thousands of dollars in commission for the better sales guys per car. Now imagine if Tesla ruined that market made cars cheaper for everybody.. of course these guys are scared of Tesla, if they are a success doing this nobody will want to use a dealer and the price of all cars will go down so they lose out on that margin.

Uh, Tesla wouldn't be making anything cheaper for consumers. They'd Apple it up and charge comparatively more, while keeping all the profits to themselves.

Re:Its the margins they are scared of losing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268093)

Tesla might not, but what about Kia, Hyundai, Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc?

Re:Its the margins they are scared of losing. (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#47268163)

They'd Apple it up and charge comparatively more, while keeping all the profits to themselves.

Good. Tesla spends far more than most companies on R&D, and healthy profits will allow them to continue doing that.

Re:Its the margins they are scared of losing. (2)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 2 months ago | (#47268509)

The margins are huge. Part of the thing dealers love is preying on people who just don't know about buying a car. Either a full sticker priced sale, or dealer add ons that are insane such as $2000 running boards are a great way to make money off a sucker. Just one item like that can be much more then the normal profit made on a car.

It took me a week to buy my last vehicle. I felt dirty and angry after several of my purchase attempts because I was quite clear on the phone before visiting what I wanted and did not want to waste time going to a dealer who was not willing to do it. I wanted to pay invoice and get fair market value for my old vehicle. Some of the dealers tried to cheat (keeping rebates), others did a good deal but then offered be well below market for my old vehicle. It was a very frustrating process. In the end after failures at 4 dealers I found one that was at least honest. They still made dealer 'holdback' plus other incentives which is enough profit.

Benefits (5, Funny)

Dega704 (1454673) | about 2 months ago | (#47267809)

They forgot to mention the free leg massages from leg-humping auto salesmen.

What I want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267815)

The problem is that dealer are just so so so terrible to 'deal' with.
Who here has actually had a 'good' experience when buying a car from a dealer?

What I want:
1) Buy online
2) pay the _advertised_ price. Not hundreds(thousands) more
3) pay by credit card / direct deposit / or bitcoin!
4) next day delivery - on the back of a truck - dumped off on my driveway, nice and clean, brand-spanking-new within 24 hrs.

Re:What I want (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47268055)

I found my last car online (used card)
I paid over the phone, deposit (subject to independent mechanical inspection report) by credit card, full balance by direct deposit (or I would have had to pay credit card fee)
It was delivered outside my work on the back of a truck nice and clean

Quite happy with it actually. It was much cheaper than buying a similar car in my local city.

Talk about a tall order! (4, Funny)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 2 months ago | (#47267823)

Imagine being the marketing team that had to make car dealers seem like a good thing to have!

Tesla's Mars Mission (1)

mfh (56) | about 2 months ago | (#47267839)

Cool science fiction opportunity here is that when we colonize Mars we get to have a Mars vs Earth civil war. My bet is on Mars winning. Time for a hollywood movie deal!!

Another multiverse version of Elon Musk develops a slew of super-viruses under his manufacturing plants in a deep-core Earth super lab. His 2020-ish journey to Mars assembles a team of top candidates for population of Mars now that he has perfected his global terraforming technology. Musk detonates super-virus technology as soon as his crew is safely on Mars. Earth is utterly destroyed and unable to support any life for 300yrs. Musk's new colony thrives in a totally Utopian society with their own laws where each citizen is given enough food and shelter to survive and they can earn the ability to undertake scientific projects that will benefit the colony.

Colonial Mars expands to other planets with the Utopian political system essentially consisting of a Technocracy [wikipedia.org] . Greed and religion are outlawed punishable by death. No person is in charge. Robots are programmed to rule.

Twenty thousand years later Muskites are still populating the universe and expand into super beings. Eventually they are contacted by the Provost Utermina, a group of billion year old beings, evolved from non-carbon life forms, societally grouped into inhabiting several connected and infinite multiverses, also founded upon unwaivering Technocratic principles of kindness, alleviation of suffering and the expansion of consciousness, knowledge and wisdom.

Nada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267859)

Never has an acronym been more apt.

My Anecdotal Evidence (0)

1000101 (584896) | about 2 months ago | (#47267861)

'Everyone' hates the car dealership, and I do too. But, in my recent, personal experience, they have provided me the benefit of price competition. I needed to lease a car and found the lowest price I could find. I then simply called the 'Internet Department' at each of the local dealerships for this particular model, and just asked if they could beat that price. One guy said he could, and I went to him. I don't know if this is possible with purchasing a Tesla. Can different dealerships set their own prices, or, since the dealership is the manufacturer, is the price the same across any 'dealership' within a given geographical area?

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 months ago | (#47267963)

'Everyone' hates the car dealership, and I do too. But, in my recent, personal experience, they have provided me the benefit of price competition. I needed to lease a car and found the lowest price I could find. I then simply called the 'Internet Department' at each of the local dealerships for this particular model, and just asked if they could beat that price. One guy said he could, and I went to him. I don't know if this is possible with purchasing a Tesla. Can different dealerships set their own prices, or, since the dealership is the manufacturer, is the price the same across any 'dealership' within a given geographical area?

Don't know. Can your boss set your salary on a whim after asking a bunch of random strangers what he should pay you?

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267973)

Hard to speculate what your car would have cost with no dealer markup at all...

Tesla doesn't have much price competition currently, filling a fairly unique niche in the market. One has to imagine a future market where multiple vehicle manufacturers vie for your business selling vehicles direct from factory to consumer, It's hard to see that the dealers will add much value in that scenario, aside from providing the opportunity to see, touch, and try the vehicle before purchase. Not sure that will be worth it or not.

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47268097)

I find car dealers are a great resource.
They're a good place to go to test drive cars and compare different models in person.

Not a good place to buy cars from though.

Re:My Anecdotal Evidence (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 2 months ago | (#47268427)

You are looking at this from the wrong point of view. The way you should be looking at is, if you ALSO had the option of calling up Ford or GM or whoever your car maker was directly, and asking THEM if they could beat the dealer's price, could they? Of course they could, they make the damn car.

The idea that dealers create pricing competition for cars is total baloney because dealers don't make cars in the first place, they just mark them up and sell them. Ford competes with Honda and GM, they don't compete with Honda dealers and GM dealers. The thing that keeps the features and functions progressing for Ford while keeping costs low is not their dealer network, it is competition from other auto makers. The only competition dealers are having is who can mark up your car the least.

Irony (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 months ago | (#47267883)

NADA mentions price competition, consumer safety, local economic benefits, and added value.

Yes, the "added value" of $500 for a $2 3M spray on the seats, and $1500 for an underbody treatment that often isn't even applied.

Yes, those dealers sure know how to extract value. I almost bought a Toyota once. But I couldn't get one that didn't have $5000 or more of unwanted markup for such scams. Gulf States Toyota Distributors should have been taken down for fraud and such. But NADA and others support such unethical and borderline illegal practices. And demonize Tesla.

"price competition"? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47267893)

Isn't price competition based on who has the lowest dealer markup?

Doesn't eliminating the dealer franchise also eliminate dealer markup?

Wouldn't we all be buying the same wholesale price?

That being the case, how is price competition (in this case!) a good thing?

Re:"price competition"? (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47268131)

p>Wouldn't we all be buying the same wholesale price?

No, we'd be buying at retail, so the price is by definition the retail price.

As to whether it's the same price for everyone depends on whether the manufacturer wants to haggle like dealers do or go with a fixed price a la Saturn. A fixed price is more likely though. Otherwise you'd end up paying for what amounts to an in-house dealership employing the people who did the haggling.

Re:"price competition"? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47268395)

Yes, in this case it would be retail, by definition. I think we're getting tied up in terminology. It's only called wholesale with other car companies because consumers can't buy from the company directly -- the purchase must be done from a middleman, at a brick and mortar store, with usually a pretty large number of employees. All that ultimately adds overhead costs plus dealer profit margin, which is why the car costs more than if you (could) buy it from the manufacturer.

In the case of Tesla, you *are* buying from the manufacturer. Without dealer overhead (and profit), all other things being equal (which they never are, but bear with me), wouldn't this result in cheaper prices to consumers? I chose to call it "buying wholesale", but I suppose the terminology depends on your point of view.

As long as GM get's to die again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47267905)

Watching democrats trying to act like republicans even when they don't mean to is quite the bit of fun. And fucking over the increasing number of stupid poor people as fast as we can import them is just good business.

Re:As long as GM get's to die again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268037)

What are you on about?

I have no interest in a Tesla (1)

Salo2112 (628590) | about 2 months ago | (#47267931)

but I would love their business model to be used by all auto manufacturers.

Broken window fallacy (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47267975)

PDF.js is being dog slow at rendering the PDF. So first I had a look at the article on The Car Connection. "Fiercely compete for your business" just means that Chevy, Ford, and the like have failed to compete with Tesla. "Create good-paying local jobs" sounds like a broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] . "and significant tax revenue for local communities" is true whether or not the factory owns the dealer, as the local branch of a factory-owned dealer likewise pays property, income, and sales tax. "If automakers themselves were in charge of repairs...well, we don't want to cast aspersions, but it would be easy to see the incentive to cut corners." Still, this would hurt only Tesla. If NADA thinks Tesla would be willing to kill its own brand, let it.

Once the "Fact Sheet" finally rendered, nothing I wrote above was invalidated. Plus: "profits generated by factory-owned dealerships flow up a vertical ladder to out-of-state shareholders." So do the profits of the factory itself, no matter who owns the dealer. "Local dealers will be there for consumers in good times and bad." I've seen local dealers close up shop. "A new-car dealer serves a consumer for the entire ownership experience." Just as true of factory-owned dealers.

Re:Broken window fallacy (3, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47268159)

"Local dealers will be there for consumers in good times and bad."

Yep, I bought a car 6 years ago from a dealer. They closed down 5 years ago as soon as the "GFC" hit.
I probably would have been a little sad, except they were ass holes to me as soon as I drove it off the lot.

Re:Broken window fallacy (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 months ago | (#47268443)

"and significant tax revenue for local communities" is true whether or not the factory owns the dealer, as the local branch of a factory-owned dealer likewise pays property, income, and sales tax.

Car dealers take up more property than, say, Tesla showrooms. Figure that a Tesla showroom usually has a few cars on display in the nice, climate-controlled, showroom and a few cars parked in the lot for test drives. You aren't walking into a Tesla showroom and driving out in a brand new Tesla. Since your property tax relates to how much property you have, these showrooms pay less property tax.

I remember there was some local pain when GM closed down Pontiac and Saturn dealerships and, suddenly, some nice property taxes stopped coming in from those dealerships.

Buying a car (5, Interesting)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about 2 months ago | (#47268003)

..in the traditional sales system is not a thing that most people enjoy

Some people falsely believe they are "players" but they still get screwed

Most people are "sheep" and they get screwed faster and harder

I am not a master negotiator..I just want a car at a fair price

I always feel like a lamb in a roomful of tigers when I deal with a traditional car dealer

I'm a really good engineer, and I have many other talents..but cutthroat negotiation is not one of them

I really, really want a better system

Re:Buying a car (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268135)

I'm a really good engineer, and I have many other talents..but cutthroat negotiation is not one of them

I really, really want a better system

Any market resembling a medieval bazaar in its negotiation framework is probably due for a revamp.

After cars, real estate is overdue for a similar revolution.

Re:Buying a car (1)

cosm (1072588) | about 2 months ago | (#47268531)

You know there is a used market right? Craigslist? Autotrader? Etc. Why pay book value for new models when the 3 year old model will last you as long ...

Devil's advocate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268059)

OK, lots of people think we should ban car dealers, and let auto makers sell directly to consumers. If that's the case, do you really think we'd be better off if GM sold cars directly? If you didn't have a local dealer to go to for a recall fix, how well do you think GM would handle it from a centralized facility? At least as well as they did the original ignition switch design?

Re:Devil's advocate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268499)

No offense, but you're a fucking idiot. From whom do you suppose the local dealer gets that new ignition switch he puts in to fulfill the recall?

Just one purchase away (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 2 months ago | (#47268073)

Won't there still be a need for dealers, and aren't all the video's arguments still valid, for used cars?

...Except when they're owned by Republicans. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268179)

In which case, Obama is going to close them down and kill hundreds of jobs per dealership. Two thousand dealers were ordered to cease business by the Obama administration. A few hundred were able to dodge the bullet by using an arbitration. The closures occurred basically during a recession, when millions of people were already out of work. How many auto workers got screwed over by this insane President and the then Democrat controlled Congress?

Re:...Except when they're owned by Republicans. (1)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 2 months ago | (#47268535)

GM management wanted the closures, not the government because their business DID NOT SUPPORT all of the extra dealers. GM's sales were down to almost half of what they were and they still had almost all of the dealers. They definitely needed to downsize the network.

Basically you made the whole political angle up to serve your petty DEM vs REP crap.

Your Daily Tesla Ad Brought to You by /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268199)

Because the world is out to get Tesla, and only Tesla.... and Tesla is our savior.

Go away NADA (1)

darronb (217897) | about 2 months ago | (#47268215)

Car dealerships have got to be about the worst consumer facing industry there is.

Most of the 'local' revenue is from fleecing other locals with borderline (and some not so borderline) scams. I'm amazed there's not some big undercover expose showing all the crap they do on a regular basis. (Maybe there is and I just haven't seen one... ?)

Die already.

If they somehow magically pulled a 180 on the entrenched shitbaggery that permeates that whole industry and turned into normal retail sales outlets maybe I'd start to listen to whatever the hell they're saying here.

(I guess I should disclose I've got some Tesla stock, but that has zero bearing on my opinion of car dealers)

Waste of time (1)

skaag (206358) | about 2 months ago | (#47268259)

I think the NADA is wasting their time, if they are indeed "scared" of Tesla, or even really actively fighting Tesla. The number of people currently buying a Tesla is so insignificant compared to regular car sales, that the NADA has nothing to worry about for at least another 5 years (which is when all-electric vehicles hopefully become cheap enough to actually compete, price wise, with gas fueled vehicles).

But often the dealers are all owned by one family (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 months ago | (#47268327)

In many communities you will find that the major dealers for a given brand are owned by the same family. So you cross town for a better price and oddly enough it is identical.

Added value (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 2 months ago | (#47268399)

...I love it. There are Nissan (at least) dealers hereabouts who have occasionally priced cars over MSRP. Now that may be annoying, but it's basically legitimate, considering that "suggested" means just that. I can understand a dealer saying "We're charging you over MSRP because we can, so take it or leave it".

But these guys take it to a different level. The window sticker lists the MSRP and all the usual add-ons, and then an entry that says "[Dealername] Added Value $500". It doesn't include any of the silly crap like Scotchgarding the seats -- those are saved for the sales manager to try to force on you.

too bad the dealers are REALLY slow (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 months ago | (#47268401)

If they had a real brain, they would approach Tesla to see about getting frame with drive train. In doing that, they could put their own body on it and start their own companies. From there, down the road, they could switch from dealer, to auto makers.

Good riddance. (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 2 months ago | (#47268453)

Let's get rid of realtors next. Another bunch of useless parasites.

Re:Good riddance. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 2 months ago | (#47268495)

did you mean real estate agents, or really meant only those that paid the $140 dollars to join a particular trade association?

Car Dealerships and the Free Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268485)

Of course there really isn't a free market, the car dealership requirement is just one example.

Used Cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47268503)

People always seem to jump right to new car dealerships when this is brought up when the reason most of these laws exist is because of predatory used car dealers.

Re:Used Cars (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 2 months ago | (#47268539)

These laws (passed 50 years ago) predate the capability of buyers to easily browse and purchase used vehicles from the supply outside their immediate vicinity.

Obsolete middlemen in panic mode. (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 2 months ago | (#47268529)

Dealerships losing government supported business model.

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