Sunday, March 29, 2015

Electric car maker drives toward own stores

From page B3 | March 15, 2013 |

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,



The Associated Press



Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Davis sewage to get new digs

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Where do Davis recyclables go?

By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Friendship the topic on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6



A phone call could have fixed this

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Milt Prigee cartoon

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

Some ‘survey’ …

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

These results were meaningless

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Survey not representative

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Answers on the green waste program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

Universities need more funding

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Father of the bride snubbed

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

Take a hike for your heart

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8



Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie softball splits doubleheader

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Davis softballers suffer setback, remain optimistic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women’s tennis dominates at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery







Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Millennials are changing our community

By Rob White | From Page: A9

With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery





Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8