The Department of Motor Vehicles’ commissioner’s decision last month to let Tesla open its own store in the Richmond area is wonderful news for people who want to learn more about this U.S. company and its all-electric cars.
Tesla is making vehicles unlike anything else on the road today, and that is why it’s so important for the company to be able to sell directly to the public instead of being forced to use franchise auto dealers.
The auto dealers and their lobbyists made this a bigger fight than it needed to be. It makes no sense for traditional dealers to sell a Tesla, because they’d never make money off it. Tesla prices its cars the same at Tesla.com as in the store, so there is no room for a dealer to mark them up. Moreover, the minimal long-term maintenance and decreased risk of downstream costly repairs for Tesla vehicles reduces the primary profit areas for a dealer.
I bought my Tesla Model X in September at the company’s only Virginia store two hours away in Vienna. The experience was much better than any regular dealership experience that I’ve ever had, and I love the car. I am thrilled to know that more people will be able to visit a Tesla store near Richmond, and more owners like me will have a Tesla service center closer to home.