Published: Tuesday, March 18 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT
So we are all for free enterprise until the competition gets too hot? That
isn't capitalism, it's crony capitalism. It's good to have
friends in high places to keep the competition out.
To "Dragline" crony capitalism isn't the right term either. The
correct term is Fascism.
Take a poll. Ask all of the roughly 25,000 Tesla owners in the U.S. if
they'd rather go back to the franchise version of buying and servicing a
car. I've owned a Tesla Model S for one year, and I've owned a variety
of other luxury cars in the past. Do I mind paying the full retail price for a
Tesla? Absolutely not, just as I don't mind paying the full retail price
for an Apple product. The "discount" one often gets at a car dealership
is more than offset by the cost of service: a dealership's primary profit
center. Tesla has a company policy against using service as a profit center.
That's a sea change for consumers.The idea that car dealerships
"protect" the consumer from the manufacturer is exactly the opposite of
the reality. Dealerships insulate auto manufacturers from the consumer. The
recent ignition switch fiasco at GM would have been resolved much more quickly
had GM been answering directly to the consumer. In contrast to this, Tesla
responds immediately to feedback from car owners, and they address problems
before the company lawyers or the government says they have to.
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