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Should Texas Allow Auto Manufacturers Like Tesla to Sell Directly to Customers? [POLL]

Rick Perry Facebook

Tesla Motors is looking to build a $5 billion dollar factory soon. Governor Rick Perry would love to land Tesla and the 6,500 that come along with the factory. Currently though, car makers aren’t allowed to sell directly to customers which would impact Tesla. Perry on FOX yesterday said that state lawmakers should revisit the “antiquated” law that prohibits the selling of cars directly to customers according to the Dallas Morning News.

“Tesla’s a big project,” Perry told Maria Bartiromo. “The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.”

Tesla has two “galleries” in the state, in Houston and Austin, and a third’s about to pull into NorthPark Center. But they’re more or less just ads for the electric car: State law prohits Tesla from being able to talk about pricing or purchasing options, and you sure can’t test-drive one. “People are forced to leave the gallery frustrated,” says the company’s website, “lacking sufficient information about the car and the brand.”

Said Perry, it’s in the “best interest” of Texans to revisit those rules — or, he said, what “some would say are antiquated protections … for the car dealers. The people of Texas will say, We don’t need to be protected. We like to be able to negotiate straight away.’”

He’s asking state lawmakers to have a “very open, thoughtful conversation about do we want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.” Because, look, said Perry, “the world’s changed.” And there’s a $5-billion manufacturing plant at risk going to one of three other states: Arizona, New Mexico or California. And you know how the governor feels about stuff going to California.

“I think it’s time for Texans to have an open conversation about this, the pros and the cons,” he said. “I’m gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.”

Lee Chapman, president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan New Car Dealers Association, said the association “respectfully disagrees” with the governor.

“The system we have was put into effect by the state to protect consumers and dealers,” Chapman said.

Dealers are “always open to discussion,” Chapman said.

“But at this point, we have not been given anything to discuss other than the right to sell cars here in exchange for a plant,” he said.

What do you think? Should Texas allow car makers to sell directly to customers?


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