Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tesla Loses in Utah

Tesla Model S - photo courtesy of Tesla Motors
Just a quick update: you still can't buy a Tesla car here in Utah. I've lived in Utah for well over a decade and used to be under the impression that people here were all about free markets. That perception has changed in recent years as I've realized that such talk isn't as prevalent as I had previously thought.

There was a bill in front of the legislature here in Utah that would've allowed Tesla to start running its new location already built here in Salt Lake City. It's dead now. The whole Tesla thing is just another example of the fact that there are powers that be who will stop at nothing to keep an edge in the market, even if it means eroding freedom.

Part of me wonders if Tesla will finally give in and use franchised dealerships like everyone else. Elon Musk has made some statements hinting that eventually the company will do just that. Another part of me is annoyed that my local government wants to tell me how I can buy a car, when the method being proposed isn't unethical or immoral.

I suspect that part of the Tesla battle has to do with class division. The Model S is an expensive luxury car. Seeing Internet comments about the effort to sell it in Utah has once again shown how many people have serious disdain for it because it's marketed to the rich. That resentment is keeping at least some people from feeling even a little sympathetic to Tesla's cause. The thing is that the car will continue to be purchased by people here, only they'll go to neighboring states and contribute tax dollars there. I see a Tesla Model S just about every day now, and I suspect in the near future they will become even more popular.

But for now there will be no buying them in Utah.

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