This is bullspit. Pure, unadulterated bullspit. North Carolina is moving to ban the sale of automobiles directly from the manufacturer. The proposed legislation doesn't mention Tesla by name, but it's obviously aimed at them.There are lots of examples of this type of bill around the country, all of them supported (and in most cases directly written) by Automobile Dealers Associations, or you know the people that Tesla's new business model might eventually put out of a job.
Its sponsor is state Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Henderson, who has said the goal is to prevent unfair competition between manufacturers and dealers. What makes it “unfair competition” as opposed to plain-old “competition”—something Republicans are typically inclined to favor—is not entirely clear. After all, North Carolina doesn’t seem to have a problem with Apple selling its computers online or via its own Apple Stores.
The Dealers Association pleads for the wellbeing of the Little League team and the local YMCA, as if those entities would stop be desirable sponsorship opportunities for other businesses, but this is all about self-preservation. The "unfair competition" is that the auto industry knows it's business model is outdated and it's products are facing an entirely new arena of competitors as technology invades the automobile.
God knows the Dems are terrible at this sort of double-speak on their core issues. Lots of environmentalists pols have looked the other way when the donation check is large enough from some corporate entity, but this is the sort of thing that has happened a lot recently on the Right as concerns the Free Market and Civil Liberties that just drives me up the wall.
If you want fair and free competition in the market place, then don't buddy up to existing businesses at the expense of the next wave of economic growth. The electric vehicle, driverless cars and the new manufacturing techniques that companies like Tesla are pioneering can be the fuel that revitalizes the American economy, but not if both parties are busy stamping out the embers to "preserve" current struggling businesses.