May 14, 2013 by David K. Sutton
North Carolina Senate Passes Bill That Effectively Bans Tesla Vehicle Sales
North Carolina is at it again. On Monday the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would effectively ban Tesla from selling it’s automobiles in the state. The bill now heads to the House.
Slate — The proposal, which the Raleigh News & Observer reports was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, would apply to all car manufacturers, but the intended target is clear. It’s aimed at Tesla, the only U.S. automaker whose business model relies on selling cars directly to consumers, rather than through a network of third-party dealerships.
The bill is being pushed by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group representing the state’s franchised dealerships. 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.
While liberals have become the protectionists of enduring social institutions for the public good, conservatives have become the protectionists of long-standing and archaic institutions of capitalist monopoly. This bill is nothing more than a protectionist manifesto and gift to existing automobile dealers. Selling cars through dealer networks is simply one business model. Government can certainly help prop up certain industries for the public good (e.g. “alternative energy”), but it should not attempt to crush alternative business models under the guise of “unfair competition.” This sounds like good old-fashioned (and fair) competition if you ask me.