Tesla Motors and Elon Musk, the folks who seem to perennially have their hands out for special government favors and taxpayer money, may have actually struck a small blow against the corporate state:
Tesla Motors Inc. says it’s won another round in its fight with established car dealers who want to stop the company from selling its electric luxury cars directly to consumers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says, via Twitter, that a New York judge has tossed out a suit brought by New York auto dealers who challenged Tesla’s direct sales model as a violation of the state’s franchise laws.
Mr. Musk spent Wednesday in Texas making the case for a legislative proposal to change the law to allow direct sales of electric vehicles by U.S.-based manufacturers. Texas car dealers have opposed the measure, saying it would open the door for other car makers to sell electric cars direct to customers – which could undermine the value of their franchises.
Government protections of middle men in the auto business (states generally do the same in the liquor business) are a classic example of crony capitalism. Car dealers tend to have a lot of sway with politicians, not to mention with local media for who they are generally the largest advertisers, so they are able to engineer special privileges for themselves. Congrats to Tesla for taking this on.