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What can we do to get the attention of anti-Tesla states?

What can we do to get the attention of anti-Tesla states?

After the most recent announcement from Michigan that blocks sales and even talking about Teslas in galleries, It’s time for a different strategy. What we need is something to give state legislatures an incentive to do the right thing.

Few things can get a state’s attention more quickly than that state’s automobile dealer association than the loss of tax revenue. And the sales tax on a Tesla “ain’t a lightweight tax”.
I’ve lived in different states and once or twice near the state line in those states. People looking to buy a new car often drove across state lines to purchase the car. Sometimes it was to save a few dollars or better customer service. In those states the buyer had the option to pay the sales tax with the purchase of the car or postpone paying the sales tax by proving they lived in another state. Then when they got back to their home state they paid the sales/use/property tax there in order to register. But if the owner provided proof they had already paid the tax with the purchase of the car, their home state didn’t require payment of tax again. Or they were credited for part of the tax paid and paid a difference.

So, if the state won’t let Tesla sell or display/show/discuss Teslas, then the state certainly doesn’t deserve the tax revenue. If that state legally loses out on the revenue, maybe they will see the light so to speak and change their law about allow Tesla to sell.

I know this is not going to work every where in every state. So please don’t jump down my throat about how bad an idea it is or that it won’t work or it won’t work for long. If it works once or twice and gains a little media attention it might cause some of these states to change their attitude toward Tesla. Hey, I am not making any money from trying to give the idea some visibility.

If you are having a problem buying a Tesla in your state, you might want to consider this for the good of TM and buyers that come after you. I think this is going to take a little research in your state to make sure you don’t get double taxed. I am expecting a lot of comments for this idea. Let’s try to skip all the negative about how it won’t work and concentrate on how we can make it work or where we can make it work.

sklancha | 22/10/2014

@akikiki

I agree with you- that we have to do SOMETHING. Not sure that there is enough potential Tesla owners, and/or enough states with that kind of scenario, to make the potential loss of income tax a big enough deal- but it isn't a bad start.

I kind of like the momentum happening from loyal customers... willing to take time out of there busy schedules to organize nonfranchised advertisement/test drive/ demo activities in "anti-
Tesla" regions. That is a true transfer of power to the people. If 'we the [TESLA] people' take a stand and the potential customers,media, politicians, and dealerships take notice... we may find ourselves THANKING those politicians and dealerships for giving us the motivation to stand up for ourselves. I hope there are enough Tesla's/Tesla owners and Tesla owner wannabe's in those areas to support and sustain the efforts.

angel

johncrab | 22/10/2014

Reminding them of the tax revenue they are losing would be a good one. The tax bill on a typical Model S is in the $6500 range. That's a lot of "fact finding" junkets to the Bahamas when multiplied out. Even in my state of the Elephant Graveyard, a particularly crazy member of the lege (Don Shooter) got this right when he co-sponsored a bill to allow Tesla to sell here. It failed but he says he will reintroduce it. This guy is a few chips short of a board but he gets it, so I can't understand the bug others have up their butts.

Theresa | 22/10/2014

You really need to understand how the tax laws are written. When you purchase out of state you are supposed to report to your own state that purchase and pay the tax in your state. It doesn't matter if it is a pencil or a yacht although I think you would find very few auditors who would prosecute you for the minor things. But the state will not and does not lose the tax revenue just because the item is not sold in their state.

Grinnin'.VA | 22/10/2014

I think it's up to the people in anti-Tesla states to lobby their politicians on this issue, to campaign against anti-Tesla politicians and vote for more enlightened candidates.

BTW, this issue is far less damaging to Tesla than it may appear. Anti-Tesla politicians can't:

1. Prevent Tesla from selling cars to people who live in their states.
2. Prevent Tesla from opening 'show rooms' promoting Tesla cars in their states.
3. Prevent Tesla from establishing service centers serving Tesla owners in their states.

Furthermore, since the factory is building as many Teslas as they can, anti-Tesla states aren't even hurting Tesla's sales. They are a mere minor nuisance to Tesla.

Go Tesla!
Ron :)

Mike83 | 22/10/2014

These anti-Tesla states are anti-American and are scared. They should be. The purchasing power for EV owners is above average. I made a choice to not buy anything from one of these states where the corporations are based(GM, F, C, etc.). I know its not much but its better than the bad taste I get when I see this type of cronyism.
On the plus side what better advertising can you get. Most informed people are no longer suckered by these types of individuals.
They should be careful who they pick their fights with. It is too bad that the people in these states have to suffer but that has been true for the Russian people too. They need to change their leadership and get some real leaders or be subservient.

david.baird | 22/10/2014

I like what the owners in Michigan are doing - getting out there and showing people their cars, this is great. Other than that, I don't think anything should be done. I don't think Tesla should start lawsuits.

Why? Because I think once the Model X comes out and then the Model III, these states will be forced to rethink their uncompetitive behaviour by the people themselves.

Kadreal | 22/10/2014

I think the best thing you can do is raise awareness of the cars. The bill is obviously trying to prevent consumers from finding out about Tesla, due to the wording that removes their ability to promote or have galleries.

Of course these laws don't affect private owners. On a busy weekend a private owner can take their Tesla and hang out near a luxury car dealership, showing off his Tesla and giving out test drives to people interested in a high end car. When they ask how they can get one, you can simply direct them to Tesla's website.

The dealerships are trying to suppress exposure to the car, probably because they know it's better then what they are selling. Let people see the car and decide for themselves.

Go free market!

GAGSTESLA | 22/10/2014

Word of mouth. If Tesla keeps doing what they are, the grassroots fire that is just starting will burn like crazy. Watch all the "bandwagon" fans jump on what that happens. Tesla has to be careful in their approach and make sure to do things right (I think they have been). One step at a time, crawl (where I think Tesla is right now), walk (Model X), run (Gen 3) , then sprint (all the above and a truck)!

JGB | 22/10/2014

Anybody up for starting a TESLA PAC?

carlk | 22/10/2014

I suggest to petition CA legislature to enact an anti-competition law that bars companaies in those states to sell product directly, or indirectly, to consumers in California. As the largest auto market in the country, and largetest market of pretty much everything, that sure will get people's attention. Tesla is from the state and CA has Democrate governor and Democrate super majority in both houses, we should be able to get some sympathy of this. I'm sure this likely will not stand constitutional challenge but we are just looking for the publicity value and to show the world how rediculous those states ' laws are.

Larry@SoCal | 22/10/2014

Not saying the problem will go away on it's own but increased visibility and creditably are our most effective tools here. As more Teslas are seen everyday on the road and in the media it will be impossible to keep buyers away from them. Eventually the legislators will realize that they have exposure.
Go Tesla!
~Larry

bt456 | 22/10/2014

Buy Tesla cars, lots of Tesla cars, anywhere, anyhow.

As important as Tesla is, there are only about 50k worldwide.

Small enough to stop, but not big enough to matter.

Tesla needs to have a much larger US install base for these legacy beholden politicians to read and stop anti-Tesla legislation.

I can see much change until Tesla start selling high volume.

I think the Supercharger network could be a Tesla beach-head for the ant-Tesla states. Good for marketing, good for awareness, good for a sense of inevitability. Planting a flag in enemy territory.

J.T. | 22/10/2014

@Grinnin' +1 Americans hate being told what they can't do. This is going to end badly for the dealers. It's only a matter of time and like you said sales aren't affected anyway.

AmpedRealtor | 22/10/2014

A trade war between the states, that would be an interesting thing to see.

Captain_Zap | 22/10/2014

Create a PAC or Association... At least that was the advice I got from a legislator's office.

Jamon | 23/10/2014

I would gladly be the first donor to the Captain Zap PAC!

I don't know the best way to approach the state problems, but I'm pretty sure I know the eventual outcome. Word will reach the masses about how revolutionary Tesla cars are, and that affordable models are on the way. People will slowly realize their politicians have banned them from buying a great car. There will be major backlash for NADA, and the laws will be overturned. Tesla will be heroes, and it will be driven by grassroots efforts from regular citizens (who are inspired by Tesla's mission, business model, and revolutionary design). I don't know if it will happen in a year or a decade, but it will surely happen.

EVino | 23/10/2014

Let's encourage Tesla to get the Model 3 sooner to market. The consumer base for it is much much larger, and then you'll start seeing those who want to buy protesting in the anti-Tesla states. That's when the tide turns. Model 3 can't come soon enough.

P85marin | 23/10/2014

Public shaming of states like Michigan and their Governor on social media like Twitter and facebook - post an intelligent brief statement and a link to the issue - raise awareness of what is going on in people's home states. We are coming up on election week in many areas.

Juggernaut | 23/10/2014

Word..... All we need is more Tesla cars. yes.... Model≡, gigafactory, first adapters selling used Teslas cannot come soon enough. It's the problem all of us enthusiasts have to contend with. Where? They ask... In California? Norway? China? We want these cars, and we want them now. Show that, and legislation will follow...

akikiki | 23/10/2014

@Captain_Zap, @Jamon, I would be the second to donate.
But wouldn't it be a good idea to ask Tesla what they want to do to move the idea along? Wouldn't we want to support their active approach? So far TM has been relatively passive. But I suspect they have brainstormed this over and over and know what they want to do. I beliere they have been waiting until the time is right.

When is that? I would suggest its once supply is near demand, so they are in a position to offer a product and deliver quickly.

J.T. | 24/10/2014

@JayC85 First, let's be a little more cautious as to how you throw around the "s" word.

Second, as Tesla has shown it will not be rushed into anything. When the Model X is ready they'll start selling it. Same for the Model 3.

barrykmd | 24/10/2014

Pick a state and start a campaign to ban car sales through dealers, highlighting their sleazy practices :-)

Mike83 | 24/10/2014

I simply don't patronize anything form the anti-Tesla states. You can change vendors from any corporation that resides in those states.

jordanrichard | 24/10/2014

One more ting to consider is Tesla's status in your state with regard to applying to get a license. Meaning, you don't want to jeopardize what Tesla may have accomplished in your state.

Here in CT, they are still pursuing getting a license to sell here. In wanting to set up an owners get together, I was told we could use the service center's parking lot, but we couldn't do our own test drives like the crew in Minnesota are doing. The reason being that it would appear as if Tesla was holding an sales event, which they are not allowed to do here. So they cautioned us on doing such a thing, not wanting to aggravate the "powers to be".

So perhaps before this grass roots sales event starts taking hold across the country, lets check in with Tesla and assure that our actions won't cause unintended harm to their situation. Just a thought.

NOLEK SUM | 24/10/2014

Become a factor in the car business rather than a rounding error that comprises only .000000001% of the market.

Right now it is a limited appeal tiny niche product for rich guys and nutty Fanbois. The 6 people in Michigan who want one are very disappointed.

jordanrichard | 24/10/2014

Gadfly, obviously our concern is not those who can afford the MS now, it is for when Tesla does try and become "a factor in the car business" by selling the 35K car.

NOLEK SUM | 24/10/2014

My point, exactly. It needs to become a factor. That is years away, if ever.

jordanrichard | 24/10/2014

It can't become a "factor" unless these types of laws are overturned.

TomServo | 24/10/2014

Tesla needs to sell a $35K car. Selling $100+K cars to the weathly will not garner public support. But once "Joe Six Pack" can buy one then folks will pay attention.

So where is the $35K Tesla than can break the backs of the monopoly and get folks to sit up and listen?

NOLEK SUM | 24/10/2014

Baloney. Laws do not and cannot create demand. When enough people want it, the law will change.

renwo S alset | 24/10/2014

I would suggest forming a "Tesla Owners Association" with $50 -$100 per year annual dues. It's mission would be to get the word out to the public about the car, the manufacturer and the mission. It would need to be on the lines of any professional association.

Mike83 | 24/10/2014

Tesla cannot yet make enough cars to fill demand. They might be making 1000 to 2000/wk and now have several types with right and left hand steering. Then the MX needs to go into production.
They are hiring and for a young person its like getting in on Google in the beginning.
Changes and the new replacing the old is a fact of life.

Grinnin'.VA | 24/10/2014

@ Gadfly | October 24, 2014

Become a factor in the car business rather than a rounding error that comprises only .000000001% of the market.

I think you're off a bit on your math. Assuming that 100 million cars are sold per year, Tesla's share at .000000001% would be less than one car per year.

I presume that you didn't intend to understate Tesla's sales.

Ron

jordanrichard | 24/10/2014

renwo S alseT, how about in the same vein as Harley Davidson motorcycles (HOG), TOG Telsa Owners Group.

renwo S alset | 24/10/2014

Jordan. Yes, and we need a secret handshake.

Brian H | 24/10/2014

renwo;
I'd have thought a secret Tesla Twerk would be more your style.

Red Sage ca us | 24/10/2014

Grinnin' Ron wrote, "Anti-Tesla politicians can't:

"1. Prevent Tesla from selling cars to people who live in their states.
"2. Prevent Tesla from opening 'show rooms' promoting Tesla cars in their states.
"3. Prevent Tesla from establishing service centers serving Tesla owners in their states."

Unfortunately, both #2 and #3 are what have been done in Michigan this week. Sure, the cars can be bought by anyone, in any state. But Michigan now blocks all efforts by Tesla Motors to make the ownership experience as painless as possible.

renwo S alset | 25/10/2014

Brian. Yes the "Jerk Twerk" might be a better approach.

Grinnin'.VA | 25/10/2014

@ Red Sage | October 24, 2014

Grinnin' Ron wrote, "Anti-Tesla politicians can't:

"1. Prevent Tesla from selling cars to people who live in their states.
"2. Prevent Tesla from opening 'show rooms' promoting Tesla cars in their states.
"3. Prevent Tesla from establishing service centers serving Tesla owners in their states."

Unfortunately, both #2 and #3 are what have been done in Michigan this week.

You are correct. When I wrote those things, I was relying on the governor's statements. Since then I found more information, revealing these new, onerous provisions.

Damn the torpedoes. Go Tesla!

Sudre_ | 25/10/2014

The one Grinnin also forgot is Superchargers. Missouri tried to sneak thru an addition to a bill that very likely would have made it illegal for Tesla to have Superchargers in addition to the other stuff. I am sure they will try again. They just have to reword the law so it doesn't ban the sale of products made by a company here in MO that sells products to do with farming.

I think another law that a state could pass is one to ban owners from plugging in and charging in general, at least at more than Level 1. Similar to the places that ban owners from pumping their own gas (yes that still exists). With the few car fires that have happen while the car was plugged in a case can be made that they should be plugged in by a qualified trained professional. One mistake at a Supercharger facility and it will probably start.

Tesla is probably required by the legal department to discourage customers from showing and offering test drives in states that ban it. If they show any public support for it they will be considered aiding it by the politicians and NADA. So it might not be that Tesla doesn't want customers offering test drives but they can not support it in any way unless they have the backing from the state in some way to allow it.

I think the best way to get thru is by owners showing off their cars and getting people hooked. Keep the momentum going. When Tesla is ready to produce some serious volume they will be able to move the cars. If you think demand is good now wait until they run one commercial during something like the Super Bowl. Right now that kind of demand would be bad.

You think some states bent over to get the Gigafactory? In 2021 when Tesla needs a second one do you realize how that will be monumental in changing states perspective? For that one they should directly announce an open invitation from all states EXCEPT those that have ban anything to do with Tesla.

We win some battles we lose some. At least right now we are winning more than losing.

SDR06 | 21/10/2015

I really second forming Tesla Owners Association. We must form Tesla Owners Association to fightback against these greedy auto dealers, ICE Manufacturers and gas companies constantly lobbying against Tesla. We must form this association to fight against california DMV who declared a 1000 referral bonus is illegal and organizations like CR.

I really hope somebody who is retired and have sometime at hand and really motivated to defend the environment should take a lead on this. Many of us who do not have as much time can play a helper role.

In San Francisco Bay area we have enough Tesla Oners, we can make this happen.

Come on. Lets do it.