back to article Massachusetts shoots down car dealers' Tesla-busting sueball

A court in Massachusetts, US, has ruled in favor of Tesla in a case that could have barred the company from selling its electric car in the state. A judgment [PDF] from the state's Supreme Court upheld claims that Tesla was not subject to laws that protect car dealers. A group of dealers had claimed that Tesla was in …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Sounds like a good decision.

    As long as Tesla never, ever anywhere does the franchise thing, they should be good at least in Massachusetts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like a good decision.

      Except that the battery in a Tesla is not under warranty for degradation of range.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like a good decision.

        What does battery warranty have to do with dealerships?

        It was a good decision, and really the same reasoning should apply nationwide

        1. Psyx

          Re: Sounds like a good decision.

          I think the battery has more to do with an axe which the poster needed grinding...

          1. Tom 13

            Re: Sounds like a good decision.

            Grinding an axe on a fully charged car battery?

            That sounds dangerous.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Sounds like a good decision.

            Or to put it another way, when all you have is an axe, everything looks like a grindstone.

            (Fans of benchmarks may substitute "whetstone".)

  2. P. Lee Silver badge

    The question is...

    Why are manufacturers not allowed to sell direct?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The question is...

      Originally they didn't want to- it wasn't easy for makers in the 1920s to finance and manage dealerships in 10,000s towns and cities across America

      The rules Tesla was accused of breaking was to stop a manufacturer letting a local dealer invest and build up a market, get a good reputation for service for the brand and then have the manufacturer move into the town and undercut them.

      It would be as if Microsoft was allowed to let small software companies invent new products,wait to see which became popular and then sweep in bundling their own free knock off.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: The question is...

        The Microsoft analogy is back to fron the YAAC.

        It would be like Microsoft allowing Computacentre to sell MS licences to business, build up a good reputation for MS, then MS refusing to sell licences to CC and selling direct to those businesses.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The question is...

          Computacentre to sell MS licences to business, build up a good reputation for MS, then MS refusing to sell licences to CC and selling direct to those businesses.

          uncanny, I heard of a mobe retailer going under just yesterday... Forces of capitalism are damn quick!

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The question is...

        "The rules Tesla was accused of breaking was to stop a manufacturer letting a local dealer invest and build up a market, get a good reputation for service for the brand and then have the manufacturer move into the town and undercut them."

        Which is exactly the kind of thing which is happening on the mobile phone front, with phones4u (UK side) and Radio Shack (Stateside) having their oxygen cut off by the telcos setting up thei rown network of stores and then cutting off handset supply contracts.

        The fact that this anti-franchising activity has been happening in other business arenas within various states is probably what's going to cause the law to be eventually struck down entirely.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Buying direct is the future

    I know it's a first world problem but I detest dealing with car dealers and their money grubbing value adds.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Buying direct is the future

      They now have car dealers in 3rd world countries as well.

      Just sayin'...

  4. Richard Jones 1
    Happy

    500,000 Batter Packs

    Would those be for your fish with any chips in the car?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 500,000 Batter Packs

      Beat me to it.

      Does Harry Ramsden have any shares in tesla???

      1. dkjd

        Re: 500,000 Batter Packs

        They will be able to sell the lot in Scotland

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: 500,000 Batter Packs

          And this is why I'm so reluctant to hit the corrections link.

          I'd miss out on lots of this type of banter!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: 500,000 Batter Packs

      It's not for fish 'n chips! Although a SpaceX rocket would make an excellent deep fat fryer. Simply place all the batter packs fish and frozen chips in the sump where the cooling water normally goes, then after the rocket hits space the engineers get to celebrate their success with yummy food.

      Might be a touch crispier than some might like...

      However this is clearly Elon Musk's new venture. He's going to re-invent the Yorkshire Pudding!

  5. localzuk Silver badge

    I thought America was all about the free market?

    These rules regarding dealerships don't fit well with the whole "American free market" ideal that so many are obsessed with...

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: I thought America was all about the free market?

      This type of legislation is proof that 'temporary measures' never include a graceful exit plan.

      As long as there are 'old school' dealerships then this is needed (look at Phones4U to see what could happen otherwise) but new manufacturers should be automatically exempt unless they choose to franchise at which point they would be caught by it.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I thought America was all about the free market?

      There's no such animal as "free market" in America.

      "Free market" in America means free to eff you up the arse without consequence and nothing else and the ability to buy lawmakers to pass laws to enforce the buggery of punters.

      American companies talk a good game of efficiency and innovation driving the market, but the reality is those very things are a threat to them.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EE / phones4u spat

    sounds not too unrelated. I wonder if it's a new trend to "streamline revenue".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wake up America

    You have laws designed to limit consumer competition and create monopoly markets.. I thought it was just in telecoms, but laws to make it illegal to sell cars except through a car dealership?

    Wake the fuck up.

    1. Dan Paul

      Re: Wake up America

      These laws protect the territories of EXISTING DEALERSHIPS, NOT THE MANUFACTURERS; dealers who put the money in to locally build up the brand and pay for stock, facilities and employees whether that be Ford, GM, or Chrysler etc. It's expensive to do and deserves protection from the manufacturers interference.

      Tesla is NEW, there is no built up brand or territory. Their entire buying concept is new, so they are trying to cut out the middlemen and sell direct without dealerships.

      That may work with an expensive car like Tesla but it could not work with an inexpensive car. There are MANY local conventional car dealerships for even a single established manufacturer; perhaps 2 or 3 per county or more. Tesla will only have one for a whole region or even a whole state with this model.

      That's like one dealership per COUNTRY for comparison sake.

      Don't miss your next service appointment because it may be years before the Tesla dealer can schedule another.

      It used to be that telecoms serviced the infrastructure they used, but they are selling it off in favor of the wireless business so they don't have to maintain it. They do not deserve any protection they were originally given. They should ALL be broken up again and all the pricing heavily regulated.

      The FCC should be gutted and new people hired as they are riddled with ex employees of Bell, Verizon, AT&T etc and they can't make an unbiased decision to save their lives.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Timo

    serious tax implications

    Many local economies (read: city governments) are funded by car dealerships. I know my town is. The towns will fight to the death to keep or get one.

    I like the idea of going direct and generally sticking it to the car dealers, but I know that my town's temple that it built to itself ("city hall") on Main Street doesn't pay for itself. If sales tax goes down they're going to come after the residents to make up the gap. They may go for yet another sales tax increase, or come after us for more property tax.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: serious tax implications

      "If sales tax goes down they're going to come after the residents to make up the gap."

      In other parts of the world, there's no municipal sales tax.

  9. JaitcH
    Meh

    America - Home of Free Enterprise?

    How things have changed.

    At one time enterprise, unfettered, brought us so many good things - remember what Hewlett Packard made - all those great pieces of test equipment. The crazy innovators at Wavetek of California, gobbled up by that staid outfit Wandel and Goltermann of Germany.

    Since then the lawyers have taken over and companies have put their wagons in a circle and slowly real innovation is fading.

    Luckily, today's generation is recapturing the spirit and hopefully they will get rid of the lawyers and the daring be set free to experiment once again.

    Look at Volkswagen, they deliver straight to the customer with great success. Tesla could be the same. Why do we dealerships these days? Click away on a web site, put your dream whatever together, computers in the manufacturers test it for feasibility and then, another click, the order is entered and the JIT system looks after the rest with a delivery date almost cast in concrete.

    Tesla vehicles have far less 'mechanics' and, as a certain New York Times reporter discovered, it's on-board computer, chatting away with the factory, can alert the owner or Tesla to potential problems.

    Likely a 'repair' could be made by a shipping/freight company delivering parts one day and calling back if there are parts to return.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: America - Home of Free Enterprise?

      That's why Tesla can't have its own dealers.

      Dealers generally lose money on new car sales. They make money on finance, trade ins and servicing.

      Tesla's (almost) don't need servicing - the warranty package is something like $600/year,

      there is no $150 oil change every 4000mi, brakes last for a decade, no emmission checks.

      And current Tesla buyers are unlikely to need a dealership to loan them the money at 5%

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: America - Home of Free Enterprise?

      "At one time enterprise, unfettered, brought us so many good things"

      That depends on which bit of USA free market capitalistic history you look at. The days of Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and pals weren't so great for their competitors.

      1. N13L5

        Re: America - Home of Free Enterprise?

        "The days of Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and pals weren't so great for their competitors."

        What are you talking about 'the days of'...? A few of them are not only not gone, but they rule the club of the 0.01% and they hold nothing but contempt for the rest of us.

        Old drug and slave trade money put into banks and multinational corporations still run with the same dinosaur mentality.

        .

        Subservience to money is a degradation of human consciousness.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    OUCH!

    That's gonna leave a mark.

    That said, all I can add, is, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020