Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Electric car maker drives toward own stores

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — After a win at Minnesota’s Capitol, an electric car manufacturer is closer to the license it needs to open retail stores over the objection of traditional auto dealers.

California-based Tesla Motors has gotten word that state officials would begin processing the company’s application for a car dealer license. The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that Tesla hopes to open a store this summer in Edina and a second at the Mall of America next year in which the manufacturer would sell cars directly to customers.

The set-up has drawn the ire of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association, which fears the sales model will allow Tesla and other manufacturers to undercut rivals by running dealerships without the overhead of having vehicle supplies on the lot.

“We think everybody should play by the same rules,” said Scott Lambert, the association’s executive vice president. “Tesla is trying to sell cars on the cheap, and it’s just not fair because they don’t have the cost of running a dealership.”

The auto dealers group tried unsuccessfully to update a 1970s-era law to block Tesla and is now threatening to sue. Lawmakers turned back the anti-Tesla effort in a Senate committee last week and a House plan that was slated for a hearing on Wednesday was pulled from consideration.

The original law was designed to prevent Ford or General Motors from selling the same car models in competition with their own dealers. Tesla has never had Minnesota dealers and would be selling cars that are completely different from those sold by existing dealers.

The Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that it is pressing ahead with Tesla’s application. Agency spokesman Bruce Gordon said the law on the books “does not prohibit a (car) manufacturer from becoming licensed as a dealer in Minnesota.”

Tesla’s $57,400 Model S electric car is billed as being able to go 300 miles on a single electric charge. While the company has yet to turn a profit, it has sales or service locations in 19 states. But Minnesota customers can only order a Tesla car by calling the company or using its website. Tesla hopes to sell a $30,000 electric car by 2016, officials say.

Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of corporate and business development, compared the car company’s model to Apple’s direct-to-consumer electronics stores.

“We’re cutting out the middleman,” O’Connell said. He added that the approach is unique in the automotive market. “That can disturb the status quo because it can change consumer expectations, which can lead to more competition.”

Lambert said the auto dealers group’s resistance has nothing to do with the type of cars offered.

“We’re not opposed to electric vehicles,” Lambert said. “If consumers want to buy them, we’d love to sell them. We’re opposed to electric vehicles not being sold by a franchised dealer, because if manufacturers run the market, it will be far less competitive for customers.”

— Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    A springtime ritual

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Ortiz lawn signs available

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Steadfast in their support

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

     
    Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Quilters gear up for annual show

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

    League hosts a series of candidate forums

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Calling all Scrabble fans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

    Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

     
    Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Take ownership of your health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Keep your baby safe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Road diet? No, city diet!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

    We’re reveling in our equality

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

     
    Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Core values on campus

    By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

     
    Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

    Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Sports

    UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Devils burn up the track

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Will Davis get an Old Soul?

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

     
    Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

    University Honda wins another President’s Award

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8