Sources: Automotive News , 
quote: The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said that dealerships are necessary to ensure competitive prices for customers
quote: 2 or 3 is still few enough for an oligopoly - look at the phone companies, how Verizon and AT&T both settle around the same high prices, and they sell basically the same plans as each other.
quote: I'm not convinced that dealerships really increase costs all that much.
quote: For companies/brands like Telsa, Smart, Fiat, etc, the a bad dealer can spoil large areas and decrease/alter brand perception significantly.
quote: Not being an American, I would have thought any reputable manufacturer would stipulate things like the customer service standards, visibility from a main road, and amount of departure from their recommended pricing a dealer can offer when putting out tenders for dealers in an area. What is to stop a manufacturer from terminating their contract with a "bad dealer" if that dealer fails to comply with the terms of their contract?