It appears unlikely that the federal government will intervene any time soon with Tesla Motors’ desire to adopt a direct-to-consumer sales model on a national scale.
In a response to a We the People petition created on June 5, Dan Utech, special assistant to the president for energy and climate change, outlined a few reasons why the current administration is not presently interested in pursuing an act of Congress to allow automakers to sell vehicles directly to consumers nationwide.
The petition, which was created anonymously and collected over 138,000 digital signatures before being closed, requested that the Obama administration allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to its consumers in the United States.
Utech mentioned the Obama administration’s interest in the electric vehicles that Tesla and other automakers are producing and improving but showed apprehension in taking the issue to the federal level.
“But as you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level,” Utech said in the official White House response.
“We believe in the goal of improving consumer choice for American families, including more vehicles that provide savings at the pump for consumers. However, we understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress.”
To read the entire We the People petition and official White House response, click here.
Teslas in Used Market
Earlier this year, Auto Remarketing reported on some of the used-car market activity among Tesla vehicles and found that postings on AutoTrader.com, for example, were showing significant boosts in shopper interest this spring.
Auto Remarketing gained some insight into how these used vehicles are performing on the site from Mark Strand, industry intelligence manager at AutoTrader.com.
In April, Tesla models showed 929 percent more interest per listing than other vehicles in their competitive set on AutoTrader.com.
That said, “As the number of listings for used Tesla models on our site increases, the interest level will naturally become more consistent with other vehicles in the competitive set,” Strand said in this story from May.
With that in mind, due to the increasing number of Tesla listings, AutoTrader was seeing a decline in the number of views per listing, he explained.
“However, this does not mean that interest is necessarily waning. As of right now, people interested in searching for used Teslas have fewer listings to view, so the percent of views per listing is naturally higher,” Strand said. “As more listings are posted on the site by dealers and private sellers, the percentage of views per listing will normalize.”
Interest in the luxury vehicles is still growing, though, and AutoTrader anticipated the difference in interest per listing to remain high for the foreseeable future.
For further insight into what impact Tesla may have on the used-car market, see the AR story from last month that examines the potential role of Tesla in pre-owned.
Elsewhere, AR's coverage of Tesla this year has included a look into leasing at Tesla and what the options may be there.