I finally was able to pick my Model 3 performance at the Tesla “facility” as they aren’t allowed to have an actual dealership/stealership in Texas because Musk (rightfully) refused to play the well-established corruption game as it’s played in Texas. The state bans all manufacturers from selling direct to the public so that the “stealers” can really get rich at the publics’ expense. I was in this business for years, and saw firsthand, the games that the car dealerships play. Quite simply, it only exists to extract more money from customers … in other words, if customers don’t have a huge budget for lobbyists, like car dealerships do, possibly doing things that might be illegal or at the very least disreputable, it’s certain that those customers are going to pay more. It’s easier to pay bucks to a political campaign and be “protected” rather than to be honest about what the dealerships are doing and passing a bill to stop it. Why this hasn’t been contested in court is absolutely beyond belief … This has been going on so long that Texans accept this as normal … but, it’s not … they’re using politicians to keep them rich by allowing practices that every new car buyer has experienced, for already crazy-priced new cars. In insane California, at least they DO allow direct sales. It’s shocking that a deep-red state like Texas would allow this level of blatant legalized theft. It’s such a restraint of trade that it beggars belief … but in Texas apparently you can buy yourself a protected business free of any real competition. Does anyone honestly believe the few dealers don’t have an “under-the-table” agreement to fix pricing?  As I said earlier, I was in the biz … and the answer is yes. As more stealerships are owned by a rapidly shrinking number of owners, prices go up. That’s just common sense … a monopoly means you pay more … it’s just simple economics. Musk simply bypassed this nonsense by using the web and using a delivery service to bring your out-of-state purchase to Texas. Yes, you have fixed prices, but the pricing for what you get is more than fair. Buy a new GM or Ford product and when you roll over the curb, your new baby loses 10 to 20% of value … A used Tesla costs MORE than a new one, sometimes, a lot more. The wait, as of this writing, for the Tesla “S” is EIGHT months!  If the Feds pass a new tax credit for electric cars, it’s been predicted that the wait will probably be over a year for ANY Tesla model.  My Cybertruck order very probably won’t be fulfilled until 2023 or 2034. Inferior products, old tech and the “good old boy network” guarantees people realizing they are being screwed and they don’t have to play the dealership games any longer. A better product, bought simply with cutting edge tech that’s been shown to be a full decade more advanced than even Porsche or Mercedes can provide could change the unsavory way Texans have to buy new cars. The sales show the number of people fleeing traditional cars is well on a pace to make the Model 3/Y the largest selling cars in history.

But all is not perfect in Musk’s Tesla vision. There is NO phone number to speak with ANYONE at Tesla. You are at the mercy of emails. Under his program, you do things at his pace, not yours, and you have ZERO input. The payment to hold your spot in line is simple enough, but if you find a savvy owner, he can tell you how you can cut weeks off your delivery dates. While the cars are, to put it simply, just fantastic, it’s not all beer and skittles. The process of delivery, to put it very mildly, is hairpulling. There are seemingly endless lists of things to do that are required by Tesla … skip one or don’t do it in time and your order is canceled. I was threatened on more than a few occasions by Tesla HQ that if I couldn’t pick the car up on the EXACT date and time they demand, my car (which was already fully paid/insured) will be given to the next person in line. Even after explaining that I was going to be out of town for a week, they said it didn’t matter … they will NOT hold the car. Only after I went to the facility in person and with extreme effort restrained my anger, did they pay attention … but the threats continued unabated from Tesla HQ by phone and emails. Only after I finally did lose my temper, did the local facility agree to hold the car regardless of what I’m being told by Tesla HQ. In this respect, it was the worst buying experience of my life. It’s a vague, impersonal, frustrating, moronic process that didn’t have to be that way.

But, here’s the twist … I don’t blame Musk … I blame the state of Texas.

In my opinion, this mafia-like corruption that the state allows by banning direct purchases is at fault. Since there is NO ONE in any position of actual authority in Texas for a company bursting with orders, it’s going to create huge problems. Tesla can’t run an actual dealership, with sales consultants (who, incidentally currently receive no commissions), finance/registration departments and a service department where you can talk to a service manager and buy official Tesla parts. Instead, you wind up with an absolute mess for customers which is exactly what the stealers want. Can you imagine trying to hawk a Nissan, Lexus or Dodge that technically is ten to fifteen years old compared to the amazing, rolling electric wonderland that is Tesla, on a level playing field?  Hopefully, this will force an unexpected/unintended victory for consumers that wouldn’t have happened without Musk.

And people think going to space is complicated …

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