Print 20 comment(s) - last by bah12.. on Jul 3 at 9:48 AM

It's less than 10,000 signatures away from a White House response

Tesla Motors has some pretty loyal fans, and that could help the automaker win the right to bypass dealerships and sell directly to consumers. 

A Tesla fan started a petition to the White House on June 5, asking that Tesla be able to sell its electric vehicles directly to consumers without having dealerships as the middlemen. 

"States should not be allowed to prevent Tesla Motors from selling cars directly to customers," says the petition. "The state legislators are trying to unfairly protect automobile dealers in their states from competition. Tesla is providing competition, which is good for consumers."

In order for the White House to respond to a petition, it must acquire 100,000 signatures. At the time of this article, there are 92,467 signatures. The deadline is Friday, July 5. 

Tesla sent an email out over the weekend asking for more signatures. It also said that Tesla is "under attack from a number of car dealer associations in various states" and that the dealership's arguments "infringe on the right of the consumer to choose how they purchase and service their vehicle."

Tesla has been battling states and auto dealerships for the right to sell its vehicles without the help of dealerships. Back in April of this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk openly fought for a Texas bill that would cut out the use of auto dealerships. The bill -- House Bill 3351 -- would allow distributors and manufacturers of electric vehicles (EVs) only to sell directly to customers without the use of dealerships. Musk even said that if the fight for the Texas bill came down to a federal matter, he would either lobby Congress to pass legislation for the direct sales of EVs made by startup companies like Tesla (and tie it to an energy or transportation bill) or file a federal lawsuit to fight the state restrictions as unconstitutional violations of interstate commerce.

Tesla has been successful in other states, such as New York, where a pair of bills (referred to as A07844 in the Assembly and S05725) tried to make it illegal to license -- or even renew licenses -- for all Tesla Stores within New York state borders. These bills were killed off last month.
The automaker also fought and won in North Carolina last month, where a North Carolina House committee denied a bill that would have banned Tesla from selling its Roadster and Model S vehicles to consumers instead of auto dealerships in the state.  

Auto dealerships have been furious about Tesla's model because it takes business away from them.

Want to take part? You can sign the petition here

Updated @ 2:00pm EST
The required 100,000 votes threshold was reached at roughly 1:57pm EST today. An official response from the White House should be coming soon.

Source: We the People

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All Well and Good. But...
By DaveLessnau on 7/2/2013 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 3
This is all well and good. But, what does Tesla selling direct to consumers have to do with the Executive Branch of the Federal Government? Now, in the cases where Tesla's business is across State lines, the Constitution does give the Feds the authority to regulate the commerce. But, that authority lies with the Congress. Not with the President. So, why send a petition to the White House? Especially since the President is a Democrat and the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans. Send that petition to the Speaker of the House, instead. Of course, there's not much point in doing a petition either way since two of the three big American car makers are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Federal Government and I doubt they'd want anyone muscling in on their territory. Ditto for being bought by the labor unions.

Also, Tesla can just file suit under the Commerce Clause and claim the States have no authority to tell him how he must sell his vehicles across State lines.

RE: All Well and Good. But...
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2013 2:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
You are asking a generation that think the government is the number one solution to all their problems? The trend has been more and more government recently.

RE: All Well and Good. But...
By BRB29 on 7/2/2013 2:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think the only President that made the government smaller was Andrew Jackson shut down the Second Central Bank of the US in 1833. The Second Central Banks is the equivalent of the Federal Reserve today. Coincidentally, it was also the last time our country had 0 national debt.

RE: All Well and Good. But...
By bah12 on 7/3/2013 9:48:18 AM , Rating: 1
Correct. In spending alone the number has never went down, just rose less. Just another proof that the 2 parties both suck. When viewd as part of GDP, the true falings of this administration come to light. Moving us from 64% of GPD to wow... It would be one thing if unemployement was low, but spending almost all of what you take in just to maintain this shit economy. What a complete failure.

RE: All Well and Good. But...
By Jaybus on 7/2/2013 4:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, he did state that failing federal government action he would bring a case to federal court challenging state's right to require in state dealerships under the commerce clause. He is just trying to minimize legal costs, which will be more to take a commerce clause case to fed court, and much, much more to challenge in all 50 states separately.

But there are many instances of state government corporate welfare and anti-competitive protectionism. Like insurance, for example. Why should only EVs be excepted? Why shouldn't all car manufacturers be allowed direct sales?

I think they would still have to mandate an in-state warranty service center. Otherwise citizens would not be protected by their state's lemon laws.

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