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Tesla Guerilla Sales in States that do not allow direct sales

Tesla Guerilla Sales in States that do not allow direct sales

Very sad to continue to watch ALEX/Koch brothers defeat or inhibit the ability for Tesla to sell directly in certain states. Given that there are likely Tesla owners in those states, it would be tremendous if the Tesla community could be harnessed to offer those prohibited test drives in their own vehicles. Upon expression of interest in procuring a Tesla vehicle, Tesla could hook them up with a participating current Tesla owner to facilitate the experience. Perhaps could work similarly to the Referral program.

Captain_Zap | 3 avril 2017

There have been events similar to what you describe in the past.

carlk | 3 avril 2017

Sounds like a good idea. Just needs to be carefully structured so this will not be looked at as a sales action that could get owner/volunteer or Tesla into legal trouble.

Frank99 | 3 avril 2017

I agree, carlk. It's hell when you have to think that way, but wadda ya gonna do?

I think it'd have to be organized by a local Tesla owners group, with minimal/no Tesla involvement. Perhaps Tesla has a "register your event here" page, where each owner participating can get a registration number, personalized for the event, and can pass that off to the people they provide rides to, or they could collect names/addresses of people they provided rides to. Submit them to Tesla, and get referral credit for each one that turns into a sale.

mark.willing | 4 avril 2017

As a person waiting for my Model 3 in Michigan,...where they do not allow direct sales,...I think it is a great idea. Personally, I would much rather speak with someone who already owns a Tesla than listen to a salesperson. There is a totally different vibe and perspective when speaking with an owner. Myself, and others, are more interested in the "real world" experience from a Tesla owner who has to find charging stations, drive in Winter weather, and so on. However, and this is a word of caution,...some owners may give off this weird, cult-like vibe,...you know the folks that are so enamoured with their car that it's a bit creepy and may put off some first time, potential customers. When I say that, there are folks like me that are very progressive and have already made the decision to purchase because I think it's the way to go for the Earth. I've already bought into the need to change the future for our children. On the other hand, there are folks (my parents, for example) that are very conservative and are looking at the vehicle from strictly a fuel cost savings perspective, really couldn't give a s**t less about global warming and the environment, and just want the owner to talk about the real world experience. Those folks are not about paying a premium to own an electric car, just because it's electric,...it simply needs to be better car,...period.

tstolz | 4 avril 2017

I agree with you Mark ... lots of people are now into EV because of performance / economy / driving character / refuelling convenience / etc. When I bought our MS I wanted that class and the kicker was the environment. I never talk about the environment anymore ... these cars are simply fun!

Love the idea of an owner test-drive demo. Maybe package it up as an EV event and invite all makes and models.

jordanrichard | 4 avril 2017

Clearly Tesla is on the radar of those states and their puppet masters the NADA. So, Tesla can't have anything to do with a grass roots "sales" event, because it would look like they are trying to get around the law.

You may have to go so far as not using/passing out one's referral code to someone because that could be perceived as a commission for selling on Tesla's behalf.

The dealers have countless times send secret shoppers to Tesla galleries or service centers like here in CT, to try and get a Tesla employee to sell them a car, go on a test drive, or tell them the price of the cars. So don't be surprised if a local dealer sends someone snooping around to cause trouble.

joemar10 | 4 avril 2017

During the 14 plus years I've been driving Priuses I am probably responsible for ten or more people purchasing one. My enthusiasm and honesty about the experience did it. I am not a Tesla owner yet but already my enthusiasm surpasses that which I had for the Prius. As an early adopter in 2003 I was actually interviewed by CBN. That ultra-conservative network tried to pull me into a discussion about cost as compared to a fully gas gasoline powered car. Even though at that time I was very high mileage driver, (40,000 50,000 miles a year) I did not buy the car for the gas mileage. I bought it for the low emissions. High gas mileage was a bonus. The interviewer couldn't seem to grasp that. As a Model 3 owner, I plan to take it to "cruise-in's" around the area and just park it. It will generate its own interest. I live in Virginia and right now we're fighting to have a second Tesla store in Richmond. I definitely plan to do my part in educating southeastern Virginia about Teslas. I already have a waiting list of friends to take a ride in my Model 3. I'm pretty sure a bunch of people at the cruise-ins will want to do the same. Hopefully Tesla owners in non Tesla friendly states will have an impact I by just being seen driving one.

ken.hixson | 4 avril 2017

While there are several states that do not allow the direct sales model there are really only a few that prevent service centers, showrooms, or test drives.

For me to buy my Tesla was really just as easy as at a dealership. I just used the Internet instead of a pen.

Now that doesn't mean that these states will never prevent service centers, showrooms, or test drives so it is still a battle that needs fighting and winning and the sooner the better.

These franchise laws were actually to increase competition and avoid monopolistic situations and until Tesla came along there wasn't really an issue. I believe Tesla was correct that franchises/dealers wouldn't sell an electric vehicle so they were forced into the direct model, GM certainly isn't selling the Bolt, they are barely manufacturing them . . . 30,000 annual production and I doubt they will reach anywhere near that because they are barely selling 1000 a month now. It is just to crawl under the fleet MPG requirements. When Lucid, Faraday, and others start selling then there will be a big problem. Right now it is only Tesla rocking the boat.

The problem might not go away when Mercedes, BMW, VW and others that have established dealerships start making the EVs and selling them through these dealerships. Then they (the auto makers) can use the franchise laws to really thwart Tesla's direct model and claim Tesla is a monopoly that they cannot be.

I have no clue which model will win but I do expect a battle.

tstolz | 4 avril 2017

Tesla should stay the course. The dealers are trying to contain sand in their fists ... the more they tighten their grasp the more quickly the sand will slip from their fingers. Buyers will increasingly see the OEMs as the bad guys ... self interested, anti-competitive, and against consumer interests,

milesbb | 7 avril 2017

@donmactesla
you are blaming the wrong folks. The Koch brothers are against most regulations including dealership protection laws. They are on the record supporting Tesla's case that allows manufactures to sell to directly to the public. You might have a strong difference with the Koch brothers on air quality laws or mileage standards, but that is a different subject.

https://www.thenation.com/article/koch-brothers-alec-and-savage-assault-...

ken.hixson | 7 avril 2017

tstolz --
Are you really Obi-Wan?

ken.hixson | 7 avril 2017

Oops, sorry Princess!

Haggy | 8 avril 2017

Tesla could certainly list owners' groups and events but it would have to be pretty much hands off. Owners could set up groups on their own where they could get together and offer test drives to prospective customers, and give them a referral code with the existing system.

I'd be glad to help anybody who can't find a place to look at a Tesla in the Fremont area.

Madatgascar | 9 avril 2017

Coincidentally, the states that ban Tesla's direct sales model happen to have large Indian reservations, subject to Federal and Tribal laws but not state laws. Events could be held on tribal land (with permission of the Tribe, which may not be difficult because it drives affluent tourism to the area) and you should be free to discuss price etc. This would also draw attention to the Luddites.

Frank99 | 9 avril 2017

I love it - "Come visit the Indian Cas*no and Tesla showroom at Black Rock! Free spin of the Big Wheel for every test drive! $100 in free chips for every Tesla delivered! (Slow) Destination chargers available while you're visiting!"

Maybe I've heard one too many adverts...

jordanrichard | 10 avril 2017

I have brought up this idea of selling at Indian casinos, but was told that it would turn into a dealership arrangement. Meaning, all those stores you see in a casino, in addition to paying rent, give a piece of the action to the casino. So that would cut into Tesla's profit margins.

Haggy | 10 avril 2017

It wouldn't have to be at an Indian casino but on an Indian reservation.

Frank99 | 10 avril 2017

jordan -
I hadn't considered that, but it's probably true. The question is whether you could open a Tesla showroom next door to the cas*no as a completely separate business with a separate agreement with the tribe, and expect that it could remain a non-dealership. As Haggy notes, it doesn't have to be associated with a cas*no - but you get a lot of foot traffic at the cas*no that it would be nice to take advantage of.

Mike83 | 10 avril 2017

I am going to talk with the chief.

petero | 10 avril 2017

A smart-motivated Tesla Club, in a restricted state, could 'earn' major referral credits from Tesla by organizing driving events at local 'Cars and Coffee' and car shows.

Madatgascar | 10 avril 2017

...or a Tesla pow-wow?

vp09 | 10 avril 2017

So disgusting. So 20th Century.

When can we move beyond our petty concerns to the needs of the future?

Indian Gaming? Really?

jordanrichard | 11 avril 2017

"A smart-motivated Tesla Club, in a restricted state, could 'earn' major referral credits from Tesla by organizing driving events at local 'Cars and Coffee' and car shows", yes that is true, but within those said clubs, it would have to/ideally be the newer cars and their owners that would be offering rides/test drives. More and more people associate Tesla with AP. If I show up with my pre-AP car, I wouldn't be able to demo TACC or AP or summon and that is what people want to see. Since what Tesla puts in their cars is always changing, so will the need for the "latest" cars to be at a such of an event.