It’s Time to Allow Direct Vehicle Sales

You can’t buy a Tesla or a Fido in Michigan

If you’d like to drive a Tesla, you’ll need to go to Ohio to buy it. Michigan doesn’t allow car or motorcycle manufacturers to sell directly to consumers.

Tesla is part of a new wave of vehicle manufacturers rejecting the dealership model, allowing consumers to buy directly from the company that manufactures the product. Another such company is Kalamazoo’s Fido Motor Company, which makes a 45-mile-per-hour electric scooter that it can’t sell to consumers in its home state.

The topic recently came up on WMUK 102.1:

Jarrett Skorup is with the free market think tank the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He says this ban doesn’t make any sense. Skorup says there’s no evidence that buying a car or motorcycle through a dealer is cheaper and Michigan doesn’t ban direct sales on any other products.

“If I want to go and get an iPhone I can directly order it off a website. I could go in and get it from a store or I could go directly to an Apple store and get it. So I have lots of options and we just think the market does the best job of sorting out how people want to pay for things,” says Skorup.

Studies show that buying from dealers doesn’t improve consumer safety or satisfaction. Michigan should stop limiting consumer choice and allow customers to buy where and how they’d like.

More information on direct auto sales is available at http://www.mackinac.org/EVT-INI20151202.


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