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.
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.
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited.
Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Mackinac Center policy staff.
Get insightful commentary and the most reliable research on Michigan issues sent straight to your inbox.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
Please consider contributing to our work to advance a freer and more prosperous state.