Defending the free market.
Supporting consumer choice.
In a free market, manufacturers and retailers must adapt to changing economic forces and shifting consumer preferences. It is time that Michigan responds to the evolving market changes impacting the new car industry. Consumers want more choices and more convenience – they do not want to be forced by the government to buy their cars from a certain type of monopoly retailer. Customers want the freedom to buy cars in the manner they choose, unencumbered by government mandates.
Last year, Governor Snyder signed a bill reinforcing that new cars in Michigan can only be sold through franchised dealerships. When Snyder signed the bill, he did so with a carefully worded message directly referencing the future of the automaker-franchise model. “A healthy, open discussion can and should be had over whether the current business model in Michigan should be changed,” read Snyder’s statement, which also called on the Legislature to make this discussion “a top priority.”
This law specifically outlaws plans by electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors to open Tesla stores and service centers in Michigan. Tesla’s sales and service locations are similar to Apple’s. They are owned and operated by Tesla Motors, Inc. and not independent franchisees. Tesla owns and operates stores in 20 states across the country in addition to 35 countries around the world. Tesla stores employ dozens and bring millions of dollars in investment.
We think Tesla’s award-winning all-electric vehicles are a great addition to the marketplace, and we think consumers should be able to choose to shop at a Tesla store or a traditional dealership, depending on their preference and the kind of car they want to buy.
We’re ready to have that discussion urged by Gov. Snyder. We’re Michigan’s Freedom to Buy Coalition.
The Editorial Board, USA Today
In taking on entrenched auto dealers, upstart carmaker becomes a champion of free enterprise.
These days there is nothing particularly unusual about high-flying tech companies. They often take off like rockets, sometimes falling back to earth, but sometimes achieving lofty heights and reinventing whole industries.
Thirteen years ago, for example, Facebook was a couple of guys in a dorm room. Today, its valuation of $404 billion is larger than the annual economic output of Thailand.
But electric car maker Tesla, which briefly surpassed General Motors this week to become America’s most valuable auto company, brings something new to the conversation. No company has had to fight harder for the right to do business as has Tesla.
By Bill Vlasic, The New York Times
DETROIT — By almost every measure, General Motors has been on a roll.
Its bellwether pickups and sport utility vehicles have hit the sweet spot in a record-setting American market for two years. The company is steadily increasing profits and revenue. And President Trump has vowed to ease regulations and put cars at the forefront of his crusade to add manufacturing jobs.
In short, G.M. has come a long way from a near-death experience eight years ago, when it filed for bankruptcy and needed a $49 billion government bailout. But apparently investors have yet to be convinced that G.M., the nation’s largest automaker, has put its troubled past behind it.
In a sign of how the industry’s future is being reimagined, the electric-car maker Tesla passed G.M. on Monday as America’s most valuable auto company.
With its stock gaining more than 3 percent for the day to $312.39, Tesla has a market capitalization of $50.9 billion, just a hair ahead of G.M.’s.
While the rise of Tesla is based on prospects rather than profits, G.M. is being dogged by its checkered history, and a perception on Wall Street that its days as a dominant force are over.
Daniel Howes in The Detroit News
Don’t blame Tesla Inc. for becoming the most valuable American automaker Monday, if only briefly...
...Chairman Elon Musk’s Tesla is a different cat. He’s selling a vision of the future largely unencumbered by a legacy past — no unions and no plant closings, no bankruptcies and no asset sales, no long history of insular management standing astride reality yelling stop....
...Still, Tesla generates enthusiasm among its loyal customers (and whose who would be, witness the $1,000 deposits for its Model 3 running in the hundreds-of-thousands). If Musk can deliver on the promise to produce 500,000 copies of the new $40,000 model by the end of next year, it will redefine the industry.
For the first time, Tesla Inc. passed Ford Motor Co. in market capitalization as the electric car maker raised its mark to $48.7 billion.
Ford ended Monday's trading at $45.6 billion with General Motors resting at $51.2 billion, Bloomberg reports.
Company CEO Elon Musk was not shy in poking the short-seller bears after jumping the No. 2 U.S. automaker in market value and moving closer to No. 1 General Motors.
Detroit Free Press
How in the world does a fifth-grader give advice to a tech billionaire? Write a letter.
That’s what 10-year-old Bria Loveday of Michigan did. She wrote Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, telling him that he should hold a contest to see who can make the best homemade ad for the electric car company. She noted that many of Tesla’s fans already make homemade ads, and “they look professional and they are entertaining.”
By Chris Woodyard , USA TODAY
Tesla's most affordable option, the highly anticipated Model 3, can do 0-60 in under 6 seconds and get at least 215 miles per charge.
Tesla offered assurances Wednesday that the launch of its first mass-market electric car, the Model 3, remains on track as it issued fourth-quarter results that cut its losses and beat revenue estimates.
Investors were cheered. Tesla shares rose 1.5% in afterhours trading to $266.67 a share, up $4.16.
The electric car maker is under intense scrutiny as it transitions its focus from its two current vehicles, the luxury Model S sedan and Model X crossover, to its high-production model. It said in its earnings release that Model 3 is "on track" with limited production due to start in July.
It plans to keep ramping up Model 3 production until it hits 5,000 cars a week in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles a week in 2018. Tesla has taken more than 400,000 reservations for what could be a breakthrough car when it comes to electrification of the automotive industry. It will be expensive to start Model 3 production, with Tesla saying it will invest $2 billion to $2.5 billion to ramp up its factory.
By Rob Sisson in the Detroit News
The Michigan Legislature adjourned last year without addressing the antiquated law limiting new-car sales and now the risk increases that the birthplace of automotive innovation will be the last place on Earth embracing the future of new-car innovation and technology. That’s because Michigan is one of only a handful of jurisdictions on the entire planet where it is illegal for auto manufacturers to sell cars directly to consumers. Manufacturers are even barred from opening service centers in Michigan.
Everyone is aware that General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other brands are sold through dealers, and that those dealers also have service centers to provide maintenance and repairs. Not everyone knows that state law grants auto dealers with a monopoly limiting consumer options.
Some car companies don’t want to follow that model. They want to sell directly to their customers and provide any needed service.
By Melissa Burden, The Detroit News
Tesla Motors Inc., which can’t legally sell a car in Michigan, has opened a gallery showroom at Nordstrom in Troy’s Somerset Collection where consumers can look — but not buy.
The Palo Alto, California-based electric carmaker on Thursday opened a 700-square-foot Tesla Gallery on the first floor of the department store, Nordstrom store manager Stephanie Johns said. Tesla confirmed the gallery, which is staffed with Michigan Tesla employees and showcases a single white Model X SUV, will be open for at least six months. It’s the first Tesla gallery in the state.
Thanks to an earlier ruling being overturned, Tesla will build a dealership in Virginia's capital
Tesla notched a victory in the ongoing battle with states over dealership franchise laws.
In a decision released Wednesday, Richard Holcomb, commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, reversed a September ruling denying Tesla a dealership license to operate a store in Richmond.
By Dan Crane, Detroit Free Press, October 14, 2016
Michigan remains one of the shrinking number of states to prohibit a car manufacturer like Tesla Motors from opening its own showrooms and service centers and dealing directly with customers. Instead, Michigan requires car manufacturers to use franchised dealers for all customer transactions. Most other states have recognized that allowing consumers to choose between franchised dealerships and company stores is good for competition, innovation and consumer choice.
By Nathan Leamer, Detroit News, October 11, 2016
Michigan has made great strides in its dramatic rebound from the economic doldrums of the Great Recession, helped by efforts to reduce unnecessary red tape and to create an environment friendly to innovation and opportunity.
But unless state policymakers remain steadfast in challenging entrenched special interests and allowing new business models to flourish, this recovery may soon hit an arbitrary ceiling. Tesla’s struggle to bring their new approach to auto sales to Michigan is emblematic of why the state’s policymakers must embrace the future.
By Alex Roy, TheDrive.com
I shall now explain how to save the American car industry.
We begin with Keith Crain — Editor-In-Chief of Automotive News and Autoweek — who is simply wrong.
So wrong that I've written 2000+ words in response to his 419.
Yahoo News, October 7, 2016
If it were up to consumers, where would they prefer to buy a car? That is the question posed by the chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Jeff Carlson, who answered his own question, saying consumers prefer the status quo conventional car dealer model, according to Electrek . A recent Harris Poll, suggests otherwise, that consumers are not satisfied with the traditional dealership model.
Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press
A Tesla Motors executive said today that Michigan's denial of the electric car makers license to sell cars directly to consumers won't help a future bid by the state to attract a Tesla assembly plant.
Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla vice president of business development, spoke Thursday morning at the World Mobility Leadership Forum at the Westin Metro Airport. He said Tesla has dozens, "if not hundreds of suppliers" in Michigan, including a tool and die operation in Grand Rapids, but that didn't help its effort to get a retail license.
Brent Snavely and Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press
Electric automaker Tesla filed a lawsuit today against state officials, escalating its multi-year battle to sell vehicles directly to consumers in Michigan.
Detroit News, August 23, 2016
Tesla Motors says a new version of the Model S electric car is the quickest production car in the world to reach 60 mph.
The company says the Model S P100D sedan can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
DETROIT - Tesla Motors may be banned from selling its vehicles directly to consumers in Michigan, but that hasn't stopped the state's Department of Treasury from investing in 339,623 shares worth some $72 million for state retirement funds.
by Alex Shabad, WZZM-TV Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The company, Tesla, wants to sell cars directly to customers without a dealership. That's not allowed under current state law. However, new legislation would change that.
By Emily Lawler - MLive.com
LANSING, MI -- An injection molding company that supplies Tesla is slated to bring 380 jobs to Flint under a deal approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund Tuesday.
C3 Ventures is an eco-friendly injection molding company that supplies Tesla. It's moving to Flint because it saw tremendous opportunity, said chairman and founder Bob Schaffer, and will be moving facilities there from China and Turkey.
By Dan Nielsen - Traverse City Record-Eagle
TRAVERSE CITY — I mashed down the accelerator pedal on U.S. 31 heading up the grade south past McRae Hill Road. Hefty G-forces snapped my body into the seatback, the digital speedometer on the dashboard did some quick addition and buffalo pasture flashed by on my left. But my Tesla Model S cocoon remained basically silent.
CNBC - Jay Leno Interview
“I don’t understand why people attack this car [Tesla].It is made in America, by Americans. It is built local. You know, we’re becoming like the British – we like noble failures more than we like success.”
May 30, 2016 by Andrew Heller
Because stupid things annoy me, in 2014 I wrote about a law passed (they say clarified) by the state that effectively barred Tesla from selling its electric cars in Michigan. The law says Tesla can’t sell directly to consumers, as it does elsewhere, and must use franchised dealerships like other automakers.
The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun
by Keith den Hollander
In a free market, manufacturers and retailers must adapt to changing economic forces and shifting consumer preferences. It is time that Michigan responds to the evolving market changes impacting the new car industry. Consumers want more choices and more convenience – they do not want to be forced by the government to buy their cars from a certain type of monopoly retailer. They want the freedom to buy cars they want in the manner they choose, unencumbered by government requirements.
By Mara MacDonald - WDIV Reporter
DETROIT - You can buy everything from a burger to a boat in Michigan and there is no dealership requirement.
Actually, you could buy a rocket and there’s no dealership requirement.
But when it comes to cars, the rules change.
If you want to sell cars here in Michigan, you have to have a franchised dealership. Tesla’s Elon Musk is uninterested in franchised dealerships and service centers. He wants Tesla to own and operate anything with its name on it.
By Rob Sisson
Tesla Motors is building some of the most amazing cars in the world. These all-electric sedans and crossover SUVs have appeal across the political spectrum, with progressives and conservatives alike praising their zero emission electric power and their performance. Conservative TV personality Bill O'Reilly said "Everybody on the planet should be rooting for Tesla — I mean everybody, even the traditional car companies that will have to compete."
When was the last time you called your car company?
It's a deceptively simple question, but it also underscores an important benefit of Tesla's direct sales and service model. Unlike most incumbent automakers, Tesla has a very direct relationship with its customers since the company has vertically integrated distribution and service, much to the dismay of car dealer associations around the country.
The Detroit News
The disruption of Detroit has a name, and it’s Tesla Motors Inc.
At last count, Elon Musk’s electric-car company had booked some 325,000 pre-orders for its Model 3. It promises to deliver more than 200 miles on a single charge and to recast perceptions of what an electric car can do and be in a market dominated by gasoline.
At last count, General Motors Co. had booked exactly zero pre-orders for its Chevrolet Bolt electric car.
The Washington Post
AMERICA IS the land of the free — unless your idea of freedom includes a right to build cars and sell them directly to the public, rather than through a third party. For those who try to do that, America morphs into a semi-feudal system of state-law trade barriers and bureaucracy whose ostensible purpose is to protect consumers but whose actual one is to protect incumbent holders of automobile retail franchises, as expert testimony confirmed at a Federal Trade Commission conference on the subject in January.
Michigan HB 5312, which will allow auto manufacturers like Tesla Motors to directly sell and service their cars in Michigan, was referred to the House Commerce Committee. Please contact these committee members and urge them to support consumers by supporting HB 5312.
A Bill to allow the direct sales and service of cars by manufacturers like Tesla Motors was introduced this week in Lansing by State Rep. Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis). Kudos to Rep. Miller for his plans to end Michigan’s anti competitive new car regulations and bring choices to consumers.