Tesla boss Elon Musk is furious with the way his car company is being treated by certain states in North America, and it’s all to do with the way Teslas are bought and sold.
There are no Tesla dealerships as such. Instead, if you want to by a Model S you do so online, and then you go to collect it from a Tesla store in much the same way that you’d go to collect a new iPhone from an Apple store. And when your Model S needs servicing, the nice people from Tesla come to your home to collect it, take it away, do the work required and then bring it back.
No direct interaction with a traditional dealership ever takes place, in other words, which means there is no haggling over prices from one dealership to another. It also means that the average Tesla costs a whole heap less than it might because the expense of a traditional dealer network doesn’t need to be factored in to the purchase price. In theory, everyone goes home happy.
And yet the governors and mayors of an increasing number of states in America are outlawing the Tesla sales methodology, refusing to grant the company a sales licence unless it has a franchised dealer network in place. Effectively this means Tesla is being banned from selling cars, not just in New Jersey but also Texas and Arizona, with New York, Ohio, Georgia and North Carolina looking like they will soon be following suit.