If you want to buy a new car in New York state right now, you'd have to go to a franchise or independent dealer. But there are also are a handful of Tesla design studios where you can create your own version of the electric vehicle. Unlike traditional dealerships, which make a significant amount of their money servicing cars, Tesla believes the few moving parts of its electric cars mean they won't need the servicing of their gas-powered counterparts.
Tesla won an exemption to the dealership law several years ago, allowing them to sell their cars from five company-owned locations. Now they're asking lawmakers in Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo to go the extra mile by expanding to 20 locations across the state. The push comes as Tesla introduces its Model 3, an affordable model for the masses. They'll also unveil new supercharging stations, which will allow drivers to charge up and go plenty of extra miles as they drive across the state.
But traditional dealerships are trying to put the brakes on Tesla's plan.
"[The law] would give Tesla 20 exempted sales outlets, surpassing the number of showroom locations that other like-premium-brand manufacturers — who are required to distribute and sell through independent franchised dealers by law — currently have," the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement.
But Tesla argues that franchise dealers lack the knowledge and will to sell electric vehicles along side their gas guzzlers. And there's no doubt that cost plays a big factor in the decision. One reason Tesla is able to keep its costs down for customers is that the company-owned model means sales are direct to consumer.
It's a luxury other car companies don't enjoy.