This story was from earlier in June.
Texas’ state legislature failed to vote on a bill backed by Musk’s Tesla Motors (TSLA) that would have loosened the state’s restriction on dealerships owned by automakers. The legislature concluded its most recent session last week, and won’t be back until January 2015.
Tesla has tangled with dealership associations in a number of states in its effort to sell its Model S electric sedan directly to consumers rather than using franchised car dealers. Musk testified before lawmakers in Texas on the issue earlier this year.
Speaking at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, Musk cited polling data from various states to argue that consumers overwhelmingly favor allowing direct sales.
“Clearly, if democracy was working properly and the legislators were implementing the will of the people, something else would be happening, and there would not be legislation trying to artificially restrict direct sales,” Musk said.
“Right now, the autodealers’ association — they’re crowing about the fact that they were able to defeat us in Texas and that they’re making so much progress in North Carolina and stopping us in Virginia,” he added. “I think it’s outrageous.”
See here and here for some background, and this earlier story for more. I’ve compared what Tesla is trying to do to what the craft brewers finally managed to do, and if Elon Musk is as smart as he seems to be, he’ll figure out a way to mimic their tactics. In both cases, the argument in favor of loosening the archaic restrictions is basically self-evident, it’s mostly a matter of getting the public on your side, and educating the legislators, all of whom would favor the changes if they truly understood the concept of a “free market”. It’s a process and not a straight line, and you shouldn’t expect to win without a fight, but I do believe it’s inevitable. It may take awhile, but in the end I believe Tesla will prevail.