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posted by LaminatorX on Friday March 14 2014, @11:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the won't-someone-please-think-of-the-dealerships dept.

einar writes:

"New Jersey's governor Christie has decided that all new motor vehicles must be sold through middlemen. This blocks Tesla from directly selling cars, without traditional car sellers. Although, New Jersey decided so this week, they are in good company: 48 states in the US ban or restrict direct car sales."

Related Stories

Elon Musk to the People of New Jersey 43 comments

c0lo writes:

"Following the ban on Tesla direct sale in New Jersey, Elon Musk wrote a message to the people of New Jersey on the Tesla Motor's blog, explaining why they don't want to go through dealers and what will happen next with the stores in New Jersey. To put a context around the issue: Tesla soared in consumer satisfaction, while Ford dropped and it's likely to continue dropping.

The post:

  1. explains why Tesla don't want to sell through dealers, claiming a conflict of interest between selling and servicing gasoline and electric cars.
  2. explains what will happen with their presence in New Jersey; the stores will be transformed into showrooms, with no info on price being offered, and servicing will not be impacted by the new regulation.
  3. tells people what they can do - buy online and receive the car delivered interstate or buy from across the river in Manhattan; They can also contact their representatives if they want back the right to buy directly from a store."
Tesla Not Allowed to Sell Directly to Missouri Customers 25 comments

The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association sued the Missouri Revenue Department and now a judge has ruled in their favor on part of their claims in Missouri.

Cole County Judge Daniel Green ruled that the Missouri Revenue Department violated state law when it gave the California-based manufacturer a license for a University City dealership in 2013 and a franchise dealer license for a Kansas City dealership in 2014. That allowed the automaker to sell cars directly to customers instead of through a dealership serving as a middleman.

[...] Tesla has faced similar roadblocks to selling its cars in several states with dealership laws similar to Missouri's. In some of those states, legislators have been looking at ways to tweak laws and let the company operate.

Previously: Tesla Direct Sales Blocked in New Jersey


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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Fluffeh on Friday March 14 2014, @11:12AM

    by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @11:12AM (#16274) Journal

    It's Tesla [wikipedia.org]. Not Telsla

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bucc5062 on Friday March 14 2014, @11:16AM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:16AM (#16276)

    Now that's how we handle the free market and enterprise business competition. In the darker alleys of my mind it looks like one set of shysters protecting another set of shysters, both looking to maximize the fleecing of our pockets.

    How about Telsa buying every car they make thus becoming an owner, drive it for a mile then sell them as "pre-owned", sell by owner.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
    • (Score: 2) by bucc5062 on Friday March 14 2014, @11:19AM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:19AM (#16278)

      Okay, it has to be the morning....Tesla. Fat fingers. I got it now...T.E.S.L.A (*sigh)

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by zocalo on Friday March 14 2014, @11:44AM

        by zocalo (302) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:44AM (#16285)
        Fat fingers, or greasy fingers from all the Pi?

        Actually, it's probably both... There was likely a LOT of Pi.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    • (Score: 1) by francois.barbier on Friday March 14 2014, @11:21AM

      by francois.barbier (651) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:21AM (#16280)

      I think you have a business plan here...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:07PM (#16327)

      and they can even crow about the 'good resale value'...

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dj245 on Friday March 14 2014, @05:40PM

      by dj245 (1530) on Friday March 14 2014, @05:40PM (#16527)

      How about Telsa buying every car they make thus becoming an owner, drive it for a mile then sell them as "pre-owned", sell by owner.

      This could require registering the car, which carries a big expense. I am not clear on if they would have to pay sales tax on this transaction or not- it could depend on the state. Usually if you want to register a car you need to pay all the taxes and/or fees, which are substantial, especially for such an expensive car.

      A more feasible scenario would be to incorporate a different company called "Tesla Dealers" or something, which is not part of Tesla and does not answer to Tesla (wink wink nudge nudge). They then purchase the cars from Tesla and sell them to consumers. Kind of like a SuperPAC approach to selling cars.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by geb on Friday March 14 2014, @11:19AM

    by geb (529) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:19AM (#16279)

    If you want to promote middlemen in the supply chain, why stop there?

    Force all businesses selling vehicles to buy from authorised suppliers, who in turn may only buy from authorised second tier suppliers, who in turn...

    There's no limit to how many extra layers you can put between the customer and the manufacturer! Just think of how many jobs you could create!

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by prospectacle on Friday March 14 2014, @11:45AM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Friday March 14 2014, @11:45AM (#16286) Journal

    It's no wonder they want a law to protect their business model. We're still in the early stages but the trend seems clear: First it's music, books and video stores that will go. Then groceries, electronics, clothes. After that we'll all be used to it and the big things like furniture and cars, will be bought mostly online.

    In 10-15 years what shop-fronts will be left? Same-day delivery is starting to catch on, and most things you don't need on the same day, anyway. Most things are cheaper online, too.

    I humbly predict in a decade that the local shops will be all cafes, bars, restaurants and other services (doctor, mechanic, etc). Most traffic on the road will be delivery trucks, and people won't have personal mailboxes designed to fit letters in them, rather they'll be more like the public mailboxes that you can put parcels in. Most things will arrive within an hour of being ordered.

    It will be an improvement, in my opinion.

    --
    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Vanderhoth on Friday March 14 2014, @12:35PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Friday March 14 2014, @12:35PM (#16312)

      Most traffic on the road will be delivery trucks

      Probably drones delivering everything. Possibly it'll be a mobile warehouse (perhaps a train) that just move out from urban center to urban center while drones pickup packages from it to be drop off in your backyard or at a designated pickup location while the warehouse travels to the next location to be reloaded.

      Remember the future is fine and dandy until one of those little quad-copters drops a car on your kids in their backyard kiddy pool. Stop the needless toddler squishing, put your pool in the front yard.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @08:51PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @08:51PM (#16626) Journal

        Drones will not be doing this. Fagedaboutit.
        It makes a much sense as flying cars, (when every fender bender becomes a vehicle death).
        Not happening. People don't want loud drones buzzing overhead all the time, (or the subsequent gunfire that will follow them).

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by weeds on Friday March 14 2014, @01:03PM

      by weeds (611) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:03PM (#16322) Journal
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Friday March 14 2014, @03:36PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:36PM (#16447)

      I humbly predict in a decade that the local shops will be all cafes, bars, restaurants and other services (doctor, mechanic, etc).

      This isn't quite right. Cafes aren't doing very well, though bars and restaurants are. There's generally only one coffee shop around in most places: Starbucks. There's a reason for this: commercial real estate is far too expensive. It's hard enough to run a restaurant, but at least there you can count on each customer buying at least $10 worth of food, and generally more like $20-50. Then they eat and leave, taking generally no more than 1 hour, so another customer can take that table. With a coffee shop, you're lucky if you get a customer to spend $5, and then they want to sit there for 2 hours using your free WiFi. It's too bad too; it'd be nice if we had "community hang-out centers" where people could go and spend a few hours using WiFi, meeting other people, enjoying a quiet, peaceful environment while still being around other people, without a lot of pressure to spend a lot of money. But commercial real estate is too expensive, so there just aren't many places like that, and Starbucks has mostly monopolized the coffee shop market.

      I really don't see real estate getting any cheaper; yes, we had a bit of a crash in residential real estate, but housing costs are still rising (partially thanks to foreign investors coming in and buying up everything and turning it into rental property).

      Here's my humble prediction: the rising housing costs, the student loan bubble, the lack of high-paying jobs are all going to cause the economy to crash, making the 2008 crash look like a cakewalk and the 1929 crash look like peanuts. The violence seen in Ukraine recently will seem trivial compared to what the US goes through as it breaks apart.

      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday March 14 2014, @03:54PM

        by tftp (806) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:54PM (#16466) Homepage

        Here's my humble prediction: the rising housing costs, the student loan bubble, the lack of high-paying jobs are all going to cause the economy to crash, making the 2008 crash look like a cakewalk and the 1929 crash look like peanuts.

        This will not happen while the US Government can print dollars that are accepted by vendors. The government is not interested in riots; it's much cheaper to give them their $500/mo so that they can sit at their cheap rental apartments, watch cheap TV (there is no other) and drink cheap beer - until the end of their days. The government has no moral problem with making the majority of adults in the US into helpless dependents; the money that they spend on that is "other people's money."

        That's why the fall of the US Dollar is a required trigger for the riots. Generally, any disruption in the food supply will do, like a major shortage of oil, but the crash of the USD is the most likely cause.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Friday March 14 2014, @04:11PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 14 2014, @04:11PM (#16478)

          Good point. So what will trigger the fall of the USD? Obviously, a major shortage of oil as you mention, but that seems pretty unlikely these days thanks to fracking, Canadian oil shale, etc. Printing more and more dollars can only be done for so long when most of the population is non-productive or doing bullshit jobs [nakedcapitalism.com]. Or is the future portrayed in Karl Urban's movie "Dredd" what we have to look forward to, with 98% unemployment and most people living in gigantic city-buildings, with fascist cops acting as judge, jury, and executioner?

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by tftp on Friday March 14 2014, @05:05PM

            by tftp (806) on Friday March 14 2014, @05:05PM (#16511) Homepage

            So what will trigger the fall of the USD?

            First, let's set aside all catastrophic events; they are not controllable, and they certainly can ruin the day of any country.

            Then the next most pressing issue becomes the mass of people on welfare. Social security is incompatible with having a job, so those people are either not working, or looking for a cash job. (I tried to give a job to a person on social security; he refused to take it, saying that "it's too risky - what if I can't hold it?") Not having a job for a year or two means loss of skills, discipline, and ability to hold a job in the future (see just above.)

            As the number of people on social security grows, they need to be fed. This money can come only from those who have a job, those who work. Some of them are domestic taxpayers; other are foreign creditors. The taxpayers may be unable to wiggle out[1], but foreign creditors can easily stop buying US debt. (They haven't, so far, because the US debt is a pyramid, and the US government is able to pay interest by borrowing and printing even more.) If the US government cannot borrow, it will default - this had been told to Congress several times already, and that's why Congress obediently raises the plank each time. A default will make getting credits impossible. Without borrowing there won't be enough money to service the existing debt. The value of USD on the international market will crash, as everyone and their dog will be selling USD. The USA will have as many USD as it can print, but nobody will be taking them. Trade partners would want something else - gold, barter items, or maybe fiat currency of more responsible countries. The USA won't have much of that.

            One could say: "Let the USD crash and burn - this is an external matter; inside the country it doesn't matter, except that foreign items will be very expensive." That's so. But this country cannot survive on domestic production alone. There is very little manufacturing left. There is R&D, a good amount of that, but no R&D can function if you cannot buy parts for your research. I'm already suffering from that because some ICs are not even sold in the USA, and cannot be bought. Some parts don't even have a datasheet in English. It won't be possible to design another iPhone if your company cannot pay for a phone call to Taiwan.

            ---
            [1] Taxpayers can go Galt [wikipedia.org] if holding a job is less appealing than collecting welfare. We already have taxation brackets that require you to watch your income; one extra dollar earned can cost you thousands of dollars in extra taxes. There is also natural attrition - older workers retire, but new ones are not hired. International businesses are OK with that - they have already moved all their manufacturing to Asia, and many R&D facilities are already there as well. A US worker is very, very expensive, and it costs a lot of money in general to run a business in the USA. Ideally, the company would be using the USA only as a market. This is something that the US President should be losing his sleep over.

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 14 2014, @07:55PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:55PM (#16601)

              We already have taxation brackets that require you to watch your income; one extra dollar earned can cost you thousands of dollars in extra taxes.

              Which brackets are those? I've been doing taxes manually for years and never saw that (but I wasn't exactly looking for it either).

              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tftp on Friday March 14 2014, @08:44PM

                by tftp (806) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:44PM (#16621) Homepage

                Most people don't get into those situations because the income tax on earnings is marginal, such as the higher tax rate is applied only to the amount above a certain value. However there are many other taxes, and I remember encountering such a situation before. The most obvious example is the difference between long term and short term capital gains. It is absolutely essential to know when securities were bought before you sell them because you may lose money on a profitable sale. There are other catches, like this one [irs.gov]:

                Generally, for most taxpayers, net capital gain is taxed at rates no higher than 15%. Some or all net capital gain may be taxed at 0% if you are in the 10% or 15% ordinary income tax brackets. However, beginning in 2013, a new 20% rate on net capital gain applies to the extent that a taxpayer's taxable income exceeds the thresholds set for the new 39.6% ordinary tax rate ($400,000 for single; $450,000 for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $425,000 for head of household, and $225,000 for married filing separately).

                These numbers may look high, but imagine that you were building up a business, saving every penny, living on Ramen noodles for twenty years... and one day you sold your company for $5M. Guess what, you will get a haircut as if you were earning $5M for every year out of those ten. It's very difficult to sell an expensive object (a business, a building, or land) and not be hit by sky-high taxes as if you are Bill Gates.

                So generally it's complicated. Nobody knows all of the Tax Code. I do not do my taxes, I outsource it to people who know what they are doing, and I listen to their advice. Here is a great story [wordpress.com] that everyone must read. Sweden at that time was famous for taxes with gradient of +infinity.

      • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Friday March 14 2014, @07:08PM

        by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:08PM (#16574)

        " There's generally only one coffee shop around in most places: Starbucks."

        Haven't been to Seattle or Spokane WA, then have you? Many more independent coffee shops than Starbucks. Nearly every 4th corner in Spokane (where I live) and more in Seattle.

        The independent shops here sell White Coffee as well, which Starbucks doesn't.
        Here, Starbucks has a lot of competition from good retailers.

        Relevant part of article: (note Picture Popup in link...)

        White coffee beans are not roasted, but instead are exposed to a low and dry heat for a very long time. Instead of caramelizing and browning, the beans become pale and the sugars inside do not turn bitter. In one sense, the beans are actually developed into white coffee by undercooking them, creating a very different taste from what traditionally is thought of as coffee.

        The taste of white coffee is described as nutty, acidic and somewhat floral.

        Come on by! We'll have a White Iced Latte and a bowl of Girl Scout Cookies! Fun times!

        http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-white-coffee.htm [wisegeek.com] (beware of popup slideshow)

        --
        Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @09:04PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @09:04PM (#16629) Journal

          Yes, and several times the caffeine in White Coffee.

          Caffeine is a volitional organic substance, most of which is lost in roasting. (Especially at Starbucks which over-roasts most of their coffee). Most espresso roasts contain less caffeine than commercially ground coffee.

          White Coffee is hard on your grinder too. You will go through burs in months instead of years.

          Around here, (Seattle area) the roster I deal with sells it to specialty cafes that mix it in with roasted coffee to increase the caffeine and add back the nutty flavor. It doesn't tend to sell well by itself.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Friday March 14 2014, @10:58PM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Friday March 14 2014, @10:58PM (#16672)

            Hello from the other side of the state!

            Yeah, the white is more popular by itself over here (oddly enough, it appeared over here about a year before I could find it in Seattle.)than it is on the other side of the Cascades. And
            I much prefer ANY independent shop over Starbucks.
            I don't grind it myself but I brew it at home all the time. (Alpine White is my favorite)
            At least we have a choice here and are not constrained by a Starbucks monopoly!

            A cup and a toke to ya mate....

            --
            Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
      • (Score: 1) by modest on Friday March 14 2014, @07:30PM

        by modest (3494) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:30PM (#16588)

        "it'd be nice if we had "community hang-out centers" where people could go and spend a few hours using WiFi, meeting other people, enjoying a quiet, peaceful environment while still being around other people, without a lot of pressure to spend a lot of money."

        Maybe I missed some snark, but you must mean "libraries" which, admittedly, are being squeezed. They just need coffee, hipster music, and comfortable seating from Sweden.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 14 2014, @07:59PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 14 2014, @07:59PM (#16604)

          Libraries can be used this way, but not well. There's a lot of problems: 1) you're not supposed to talk in them (though that's not usually enforced well these days), 2) the seating isn't very comfortable (usually just open tables and hard chairs, not a place to relax), 3) drinks and food aren't allowed, and 4) they mostly seem to be used these days as poor peoples' internet cafes (and these people frequently bring in their ill-behaved kids, breaking rule #1).

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Friday March 14 2014, @12:06PM

    This whole concept of needing a middle man to sell cars is so antiquated. It really does nothing but screw the consumer that this point. I would much rather buy my car direct from the manufacturer, rather than a dealer. The franchise relationship is not always a smooth one between manufacturer and dealer. When I was in the business, I saw Corporate interests much more interested in keeping customers happy and coming back in the future than the dealer, who really just tries to invent new ways to separate you from you money - everything is secondary to that.

    Even though Teslas don't do it for me personally, I think their business model is the right way forward. I was optimistic that they were starting to break down the traditional laws and whatnot around direct manufacturer sales. So sad that my home state here has cowed to political pressure to revoke the Telsa dealer licenses -- can't say that I'm surprised, I assume some large amounts of money under the guise of "political contributions" are at play here. Par for the course for NJ, really.
    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Common Joe on Friday March 14 2014, @01:24PM

      by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 14 2014, @01:24PM (#16344) Journal

      I would much rather buy my car direct from the manufacturer, rather than a dealer.

      I have mixed feelings. Having middle men does serve a purpose. Today, that purpose has been severely perverted and the car industry is an excellent example.

      (Warning. Rant ahead.)

      In theory, the middle man should be able to fix your car without intervention of the car manufacturer. That is very theoretical because in today's world, a shop needs to buy specialized machines from the manufacturer that cost tons of money just so they can read the computer in your car to find out what is wrong. In my opinion, this should not happen. The car manufacturer should produce documentation so that companies can read and fix the car. This encourages competition and prevents it from becoming so monopolistic. Otherwise, once you buy a car, it puts all the power in the hands of the car manufacturer until you buy a new car. After just a few years, you're basically screwed into buying a new car unless you make your own parts.

      Interestingly, Tesla has not only that problem, but the opposite problem too. They didn't like what the traditional car market is like and thought they had a better way to sell cars. Indeed, if I owned a car manufacturing business, I wouldn't want to deal with those asshole dealerships either. The dealerships fleece the customer every chance they get. (There's a reason I was a part of the Saturn cult for a long time.) So, if those traditional franchises won't sell their cars properly, who will? That shafts Tesla pretty good.

      This law that NJ passed is awful. There should be no stipulations that say large a showroom should be to sell cars. Minimum 1000 square feet? [thewire.com] If I own a business, no one in government should be telling me how big my store needs to be. It smells rotten.

      With that said, it's kind of hard to have middlemen on the Internet, although Amazon seems to be doing pretty good. (Too good in my opinion. They need more competition.)

      This may leave you wondering: What am I for? I'm for the consumer. The more choice for the consumer, the better. Companies have too much power over us. See Google analytics and ISPs for more examples of that.

      Ok. I'll get off my soap box. End of rant.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JeanCroix on Friday March 14 2014, @01:42PM

        by JeanCroix (573) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:42PM (#16359)

        In theory, the middle man should be able to fix your car without intervention of the car manufacturer. That is very theoretical because in today's world, a shop needs to buy specialized machines from the manufacturer that cost tons of money just so they can read the computer in your car to find out what is wrong. In my opinion, this should not happen. The car manufacturer should produce documentation so that companies can read and fix the car.

        This didn't used to be the case. Anyone (or company) could reverse engineer the mechanics of a car and use that knowledge to manufacture and sell spare parts for it. Or specialized tool to fix it. But that right to reverse engineer stops when it comes to software or firmware, if I understand things correctly. Is it the DMCA which the manufacturers are using to create this state of affairs, kind of like Lexmark?

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Common Joe on Friday March 14 2014, @03:12PM

          by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 14 2014, @03:12PM (#16425) Journal

          Is it the DMCA which the manufacturers are using to create this state of affairs

          It's certainly being used that way. I don't like to write something negative without something positive, but I ranted this time and didn't leave a positive solution. I wish I had one. I feel if a company is making something physical (like a car), then they should not be legally be allowed to write software. Another company should. I reality, I know this is hard because there are so many electronics today with lots of firmware. Where is the line drawn? I don't know. I do know that as a customer, we're getting screwed and that ain't good. They are taking power away from me concerning my car.

          I'd like to see cars be more plugin-like. You buy a car and you can choose your radio from a variety of sources. Tires too. Even the engine could be completely different. I want to be able to make those choices. Granted, that would make for a lot of choices for the average consumer but I think companies could spring up around that idea and create a few popular "models" based on a specific radio, set of tires, and engine. Again, reality rears its ugly head. It is not easy to make a car both efficient and plug-in like. (Radios and tires, yes. Engine? Not so much.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @10:05PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @10:05PM (#16652)

            I would like to point out that you're completely free (At least in the USA, which is the area we're discussing) to build your OWN car. Forget just engine/radio/tires - you can have the chassis designed the way you want, in materials you want (Space frame aluminum? carbonfiber monocoque? classic steel H-frame?), engine/transmission combination (Turbo Hayabusa setup? Ford ecoboost with an 8speed auto? 6 speed manual?) engine configuration, differential configuration and gearing, suspension setup, interior options and lighting, etc. (you get the point.)

            Normally this is a process that takes an individual years to complete, however it IS completable. Often times in the past Kit-Cars were more popular, however there are still a few manufacturers that are in business (Factory5 racing comes to mind.)

            You can even PAY someone to build it FOR you, However you want it. Simply because you refuse to look beyond the major manufacturers does not mean that other options do not exist.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @10:08PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @10:08PM (#16654)

              Same A/C here, there is also an open-source alternative to the engine management systems that are used, called Megasquirt/Microsquirt.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Common Joe on Saturday March 15 2014, @03:41AM

              by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday March 15 2014, @03:41AM (#16740) Journal

              I would like to point out that you're completely free (At least in the USA, which is the area we're discussing) to build your OWN car.

              Not really true. If you want a car to be street legal (which is the kind of car we're talking about), then that car needs to have certain things and those requirements vary from state to state: emissions, seat belts, etc. Also, if you build a car, get into an accident, and its found to be lacking certain features (like brakes), you'll be held liable for the accident. Also based on my experiences with auto insurance, insurance would be impossible to get which is also required for driving around on the streets.

              I suppose if you have billions of dollars and lots of time, then yes, you can have a car designed, engineered, and built just for you. We're talking about common consumers, though.

              • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Saturday March 15 2014, @06:30PM

                by etherscythe (937) on Saturday March 15 2014, @06:30PM (#16894) Journal

                designed, engineered, and built just for you

                Err, what? I guess you're not familiar with the kit car you can buy and assemble in your backyard (see example) [factoryfive.com]. They're not exactly dune buggies with shantytown body paneling and lights.

                --
                "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
        • (Score: 1) by tibman on Friday March 14 2014, @04:34PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @04:34PM (#16495)

          I'd say it must happen. If people are willing to pay premium prices then someone will clone the part and put it up for sale. Hopefully not labeled as a genuine part though.

          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Friday March 14 2014, @04:50PM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Friday March 14 2014, @04:50PM (#16502)

        My first car was a Saturn. Fantastic purchasing experience. The car started falling apart at 100K miles. But along the way the sales staff were always friendly when I stopped over to get it fixed. Just politely waving from where they were. Never bothering me (or even talking to me unless I went to them first).

        My second and third cars were BMWs. Quite well built. Some haggling on purchase but not too bad because I knew I was being fleeced. Service was hell, however. My wife complained every time she had to take it in for me, and I finally am giving up.

        My next car is a Tesla. They spent all the time I needed to answer any questions I had and made sure I wasn't buying options I didn't need (and recommended I not get the extended service plan!).

        Dropping off the BMW and picking up my Tesla next week. We'll see how it goes, but so far so good.

        • (Score: 2) by mmcmonster on Friday March 14 2014, @04:52PM

          by mmcmonster (401) on Friday March 14 2014, @04:52PM (#16504)

          And just to get back on topic: As someone who considers themselves a Reagan Democrat, I was considering voting for Christie if he ran in the next election.

          This, however, is a sign that he would easily go against his word and even against the people of his state. I'll probably contribute money in whoever runs against him. My wife liked him as well, but she's fed up between this and his recent bridge scandal.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday March 14 2014, @03:42PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:42PM (#16455)

      I just had a horrible experience at a new-car dealership (Hyundai) where they tried to steal my deposit money while I was buying a used car from them (the police were even involved!). Do the manufacturers police their dealerships at all? At this point, I've written off Hyundai cars altogether because of that one experience.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 14 2014, @08:46PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @08:46PM (#16622) Journal

      This whole concept of needing a middle man to sell cars is so antiquated. It really does nothing but screw the consumer that this point. I would much rather buy my car direct from the manufacturer, rather than a dealer.

      While I agree with the sentiment, and I think this law might not stand up to an Illegal restraint of trade lawsuit, let me go out on a limb and point out a couple instances where the state might have SOME reasons to require a formal support structure.

      1) Safety issues: The state might have an interest to make sure all cars are maintained in a safe condition, that the steering, brakes, etc are reliable and maintained. That maintenance or recall items are being handled. Having to deal with any issues that arise in this area, in another state can present problems. Being able to shut down one or all dealerships in the state provides a lot more leverage.

      2) Cars need maintenance. Don't care if its all electric, they need to be serviced, CV joints greased, bearings checked, brakes checked, tires rotated, alignment checked, wiper blades, etc. Tesla offers service plans [teslamotors.com], including home visits. (Yearly service prices seems expensive considering what I pay for dealer maintenance on my gas powered car).

      3) State mandated inspections. (Dono, this seems a bit of a stretch).

      4) Historical reasons. There were real abuses in the past when manufacturers were able to directly sell cars without dealers. So much has changed in the legal landscape that I doubt any of these issues apply any more. But its still an issue.

      5) Reduced State Tax Revenue. I suspect this may be illusionary, but its I don't know.

      Other than those, the whole law seems only to fatten someone's wallet, and probably doesn't survive the first federal court challenge. I suspect worst case, Tesla converts their showrooms to legal dealerships via paperwork and a hands-off-third-party company, and still freezes out local car dealers.

      When you look at the dealerships in your area and see the mountain of inventory sitting on their lot year in and year out, you have to come to the conclusion that its a pretty inefficient way to manufacture and distribute.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @12:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @12:14PM (#16295)

    This is circulating around "the other site" about commenters being blocked:

    http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submi ssion&id=3407785 [slashdot.org]

    Is that true? Are dissenters being blocked? Are we doomed to go down the /. road? Oh, wait, as far as I recall, they didn't block people over there (just downmodded).

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by wantkitteh on Friday March 14 2014, @12:47PM

      by wantkitteh (3362) on Friday March 14 2014, @12:47PM (#16315) Homepage Journal

      Pics/Logs or it didn't happen.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bucc5062 on Friday March 14 2014, @01:24PM

      by bucc5062 (699) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:24PM (#16345)

      I looked at that post and first off, it is getting little attention on /.. Second, you post as AC and yet your "voice" rings a little like the poster on /., makes me wonder. Finally, proof? Perhaps you are a troll, an AC one to boot, trying to stir up trouble.

      Given what this site has done, and the reason behind it, I find it incredible that commenters are being "blocked". You post as AC so your voice is heard. show how or where someone got blocked. If it did happen then that person could just start another username, switch posting location and show to the world the crime. No, the BS meter is pegged on this one.

      --
      The more things change, the more they look the same
      • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:28PM (#16347)

        Really? After all the drama of the last week, and the TOTAL LACK of transparency on the part of our benevolent overlords until the kettle boils over (which it seems to do every other day), can you feel safe in saying they don't block? I sure don't. That's why I'm using AC.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by nobbis on Friday March 14 2014, @01:47PM

          by nobbis (62) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:47PM (#16364) Homepage Journal

          Look at the log [sylnt.us] , also mattie_p is providing ample transparency in his post.

          --
          It's easy to look up when your mind's in the gutter
          • (Score: 2) by gottabeme on Friday March 14 2014, @03:37PM

            by gottabeme (1531) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:37PM (#16449)

            Besides all that, we should remember that we are all really just freeloaders; freeloaders who contribute story suggestions and relatively interesting comments, perhaps, but still mostly freeloaders. We've contributed no money, so we have no actual right to demand anything, not even transparency.

            Now since this is intended to be a community site and project, etc, it would be good if the powers that be were transparent--and I think they have been. But we should still remember that we have no right to demand anything.

            The Web is like a series of fiefdoms. Each lord allows us peasants to play in his yard. If he doesn't like us, he can banish us. If we don't like him, we can take our ball and go elsewhere. The good part is that there are effectively an unlimited number of fiefdoms. The bad part is that getting people to play in yours isn't easy.

            And then there's the human nature part: absolute power corrupts, people take free stuff for granted, etc.

      • (Score: 1) by Subsentient on Friday March 14 2014, @08:02PM

        by Subsentient (1111) on Friday March 14 2014, @08:02PM (#16607) Homepage Journal

        Mmm, I think not. I was there, Khyber went nuts.

        --
        "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by snick on Friday March 14 2014, @01:36PM

      by snick (1408) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:36PM (#16353)

      NCommander is a poopy-head.

      Let's see how long _this_ comment lasts.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Vanderhoth on Friday March 14 2014, @01:37PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:37PM (#16355)

      Sounds like someone spreading FUD, Probably working for Dice. I wouldn't pay it any creed as it's just validating it. Seriously one guy complaining out of, what are we up to now? 3800 UIDs, let me know when there's at least 10% complaining of the same thing and I'll take it seriously. I've read plenty of critical to obscene comments in the update stories and on IRC to feel comfortable in saying *IF* this guy was being blocked it probably was for good reason.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @04:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @04:41PM (#16498)

        For the record (and I'm not the same Coward) I temporarily thought a post of mine was modded away on the recent DVDFab thread because I asked about alternative ripping software. (Figured it was verboten to ask or something.)

        It later became evident that the post was there, but something weird about Soylent/slashcode's display system keeps it from appearing on browser refreshes. So I ended up mistakenly double posting.

        Not even close to the same thing as the "rumor monger" here, but I just wanted to mention that SN's moderation policy / openness was not obvious to me. I'm sure it's in a ToS somewhere. :)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Friday March 14 2014, @05:06PM

          by mattie_p (13) on Friday March 14 2014, @05:06PM (#16512) Journal

          I doubt it. I think we're still writing the ToS, for the site as well as our other services. I think it is interesting that no one cares if we delete a wiki spam page or calls it "censorship."

          Essentially, moderation on the site is the responsibility of users, not the staff. I don't even moderate anymore because I end up undoing it once I inevitably post in a thread. But even when I did moderate, I got the same 10 points everyone else got. I tend to browse at -1, and newest comments first (ignore threads), so I see almost every post.

          We keep the headlines and stories (anything on the front page) SFW. Comments are up to the community as a whole to decide what is appropriate, and moderate accordingly.

          Other venues have different means of moderation, and we do need to make those public. As soon as they are written we will open up for preview and comment. Thanks for reading! ~mattie_p

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by LaminatorX on Friday March 14 2014, @01:42PM

      by LaminatorX (14) <{laminatorx} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday March 14 2014, @01:42PM (#16358)

      mattie_p [slashdot.org]

      replied to you directly already, including links to logs of the behavior that led to your being hushed on IRC, which doesn't affect your access to posting here in any way.

      Get over yourself.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @01:56PM (#16371)

        Dude was a dick on IRC so he got banned? Then where's the line? Who decides to ban what? I'm not comfortable with the idea of banning someone just for talking shit, because under those circumstances we'd all be banned at some point or another no?

        • (Score: 1) by Dogeball on Friday March 14 2014, @02:20PM

          by Dogeball (814) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:20PM (#16387)

          No, because most of us aren't dicks talking shit on IRC.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by MrGuy on Friday March 14 2014, @02:34PM

          by MrGuy (1007) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:34PM (#16397)

          Read the post again. Someone who was (allegedly - I wasn't there) being a jerk on IRC was hushed on IRC. Not on the site or anywhere else. Just on IRC. There's no statement that it was permanent.

          It's been awhile since I was an op on an IRC channel, but this is exactly what I'd do if someone was off topic/abusive and wouldn't stop despite warnings - give them a "cooling off" period, then re-instate and see if they've learned their lesson to be a respectful participant in the discussion.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by moondrake on Friday March 14 2014, @02:44PM

          by moondrake (2658) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:44PM (#16408)

          People can banned on IRC all the time, for less than what I read in the logs. The line is exactly where the channel operator puts it, you always respect that. He was even warned.

          Here on the site its different. I would deal with banning very careful (and only do it when really necessary). The moderation system should take care of most shit.

          But there are exceptions (especially for illegal stuff, though I guess in the US you can say pretty much everything, except when it is about scientology). Probably this needs to be put into a document so it is clear where the line is.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tibman on Friday March 14 2014, @04:50PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @04:50PM (#16503)

          Sounds like he has threatened a 400tb ddos multiple times. That could be grounds for a banning.

          --
          SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Friday March 14 2014, @01:44PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:44PM (#16360) Journal

      Dissenters about what?

      You're going to have to be a lot more specific if you want anybody to take this more seriously than what it smells like.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
  • (Score: 1) by radu on Friday March 14 2014, @12:22PM

    by radu (1919) on Friday March 14 2014, @12:22PM (#16304)

    ... what's the problem here?

    So the ... hmm... cousin of someone at Tesla opens a "reseller" company named Telsla (as the title of the article sugests ;)). Telsla buys cars from Tesla and sells them $1 more expensive to customers. Other reseller can buy cars from Tesla too, just for a higher price, lets say $9,999,999/car more expensive. Why? Because Telsla got a better deal, we're no communists, etc.

    What's the flaw in this scenario?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @12:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @12:45PM (#16314)

      I think you forgot the part where Tesla (manufacturer) incorporates somewhere foreign with low taxes. Sells to it's cousin in the U.S. or really anywhere, very close to customer price. And then the cousin sells it to the customer at almost break-even prices.
      This way Tesla can dodge all those nasty tax laws in the various countries.

      That's how the big boys do it.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by cmn32480 on Friday March 14 2014, @12:52PM

      by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday March 14 2014, @12:52PM (#16318) Journal

      The problem is the protectionist laws that the automobile dealer industry has successfully lobbied for in the last 60-70 years. The dealers see the writing on the wall that they are using a business model that may no longer be sustainable, and there is probably a distinct fear that if Ford, GM, and Chrysler (or whatever they are called now) decide that they can do this, the dealers are out of their multi-million dollar investment, not only in the delareship, but in getting people to be serviced "by the dealer".

      Tesla is able to keep costs down by NOT having a storefront and millions in inventory sitting on lots waiting to sell (or not).

      How many of our state legislators are owned by people in the automobile industry? I bet a lot.

      --
      "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mhajicek on Friday March 14 2014, @01:08PM

        by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @01:08PM (#16329)

        What if Tesla were to sell as a "kit car", perhaps that doesn't come with a battery, but they also sell the battery in two or three size options?

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 2) by NovelUserName on Friday March 14 2014, @02:42PM

          by NovelUserName (768) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:42PM (#16401)

          It is my understanding that most states require that substantial assembly be done by the owner for something to qualify as a kit car. Leaving one component for customer installation doesn't cut it. You'd have to give them a frame and a pile of parts for the vehicle to qualify.

          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday March 14 2014, @03:04PM

            by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 14 2014, @03:04PM (#16418)

            The exact requirements would need to be delineated. I imagine it would be like buying an 80% AR-15 lower receiver.

            --
            The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mmcmonster on Friday March 14 2014, @06:06PM

              by mmcmonster (401) on Friday March 14 2014, @06:06PM (#16538)

              Not just that, but battery installation on a Tesla is pretty tricky, since it lines the entire bottom of the car.

              Maybe they could offer to sell the batteries separately and offer free installation at one of their sites if you buy from them?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zim on Friday March 14 2014, @01:15PM

    by zim (1251) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:15PM (#16336)
    Why stop there? Lets add another completely useless layer of people who do NOTHING to every product bought and sold in the world!

    It will create sooooooo many jobs!

    Or maybe it's time to round up all the useless people like this and put them on the "B" ark...
    I bet we could fund doing so on a kickstarter...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @09:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @09:44PM (#16643)
      It will create sooooooo many jobs!

      New Jersey also happens to be one of two states in the U.S. where the consumer cannot pump his own gas. All stations became "Full Serve" only back in 1949, and it's because of durka err jerbs.
      • (Score: 1) by hb253 on Saturday March 15 2014, @02:08AM

        by hb253 (745) on Saturday March 15 2014, @02:08AM (#16723)

        As a New Jersey resident, I greatly appreciate the full service gas station experience. Plus, the gas costs less than in neighboring states. I don't see a downside.

        --
        The firings and offshore outsourcing will not stop until morale improves.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Buck Feta on Friday March 14 2014, @01:21PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:21PM (#16341) Journal

    1. Buy a Tesla in another state.
    2. Vote Christie out of office.
    3. There was a third step, but I can't remember what it is.

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 1) by TheGratefulNet on Friday March 14 2014, @01:54PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:54PM (#16368)

      christie? look, even if you buy the tesla, he will just close the roads and stop you from driving it.

      (/obvious?)

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 1) by yarp on Friday March 14 2014, @02:01PM

      by yarp (2665) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:01PM (#16377)

      Profit?

    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Friday March 14 2014, @02:39PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:39PM (#16400)

      Last I checked, Chris Christie was a republican. The democrats control both houses of the NJ legislature. This was a bill passed by the legislature. I guess Christie could have veto'ed, but blaming him for a bill passed by a different party doesn't seem reasonable.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Buck Feta on Friday March 14 2014, @03:02PM

        by Buck Feta (958) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:02PM (#16415) Journal

        As I understand it, Christie told Tesla that the regulators' rule on the subject would stand (i.e. it's not a new law, just passed), and that if they wanted it changed, they would have to take a legislative route.

        How that would play out, I have no idea.

        --
        - fractious political commentary goes here -
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Friday March 14 2014, @03:16PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:16PM (#16427) Journal

        Don't be partisan -- it is the fault of the legislature for passing the bill, and the fault of Christie for not vetoing it. As usual, this isn't a DNC v. GOP thing. It's an example of the fact that they both suck beyond the ability of science to measure.

    • (Score: 1) by M. Baranczak on Friday March 14 2014, @03:53PM

      by M. Baranczak (1673) on Friday March 14 2014, @03:53PM (#16465)

      3. There was a third step, but I can't remember what it is.

      Move out of New Jersey?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @02:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14 2014, @02:43PM (#16403)

    Via an intermediate person, who you paid for, is that a middleman?

  • (Score: 1) by paddym on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:14AM

    by paddym (196) on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:14AM (#16698)

    In NJ, you always can just drive out of state to purchase a Tesla; by "always" there is the implicit assumption that your town's mayor supports Christie's campaign so the bridge lanes remain open.