By now you have no doubt seen reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be eliminating many of its retail stores and moving to online-only vehicle sales. NADA is receiving media inquiries on this topic, and has provided the following statement in response to those inquiries:
“We still believe that the franchised dealer model is by far the
best way to sell, distribute and service new vehicles. Go online
right now and you’ll see that there is hardly a franchised dealer
in the country that isn’t offering online sales and financing
through their websites. But the reality is the vast majority of
consumers want to do some combination of both online and
traditional shopping for new vehicles. Those are our customers,
and we’re going to continue meeting their expectations and
catering to their needs.”
NADA has also provided this additional background information, which you may find helpful, as well:
Are dealers going to fight online sales?
No. Of course not. We conduct online sales now to the degree allowable by federal and state laws (a number of laws and regulations still require wet signatures for vehicle purchases, and even more so for financing).
Do we oppose direct sales:
The issue there is, and has always been, whether or not direct sales violate state licensing and franchising statutes and consumer-protection laws. That answer will vary based on each state’s law. Nothing in Tesla’s announcement has changed the landscape. In fact, from our perspective nothing material at all has changed as a result of Tesla’s announcement – other than the fact that Tesla will be closing stores and conducting layoffs.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact FADA at