Go here, to the White House Petition site. (Seriously, a petition page sponsored by the White House? Things have seriously changed. I’m old enough to remember certain Presidents in the 70s. Think they’d be soliciting petitions from their voters? I think not.)
Anyway, that little glimpse at history aside, by July 5th they need 100,000 “signs” on this to make their point. So sign it. You have to register with a White House account to do it, but do it. At this point it looks like they need about 11,000 more people.
What’s it about, you ask? Tesla wants to re-define how automotive sales work, and that means selling online, through new channels (like the mall showroom in Natick, MA) and guess what? The existing, really powerful auto dealer lobby doesn’t really want that. Go figure.
If you want some background information, take a look at this story on MSNBC. Here’s another longer one on the Wall Street Journal (login needed for that one). But the simplest explanation of the Tesla strategy I’ve seen: “How do you sell the future if your business depends on the present?” (unnamed Tesla exec).
The justification for this effort to block Tesla from dealer organizations? ”It’s a consumer protection,” said Bob Glaser, head of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association. “A dealer who has invested a significant amount of capital in a community is more committed to taking care of that area’s customers.” Right. They want to protect you from yourself. So wait. Isn’t that Big Government telling you what you can do? Don’t get me started…
More likely, it goes like this: Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune put the problem more simply: ”It’s about established businesses leveraging government power to enrich themselves.”
So yeah. Sign it.