By Jerry Mooney

Nothing encompasses the spirit of Zenruption more that what Tesla Motors is facing in Indiana. GM sponsored a bill to make Tesla’s direct sales model illegal. GM and its legacy car cronies created the dealership model decades ago to help sell their mass produced cars. This model is old, unresponsive to consumers and people hate it. Tesla knows  this and would prefer to sell their cars direct to consumers, however, the car giants know this is threatening to their way of monopolizing the industry.

Tesla prefers a sales model much like Apple products, and contend that consumers must be better informed in order to choose a Tesla instead of a gas powered car. Additionally, car dealerships make a large portion of their profits from maintenance of the vehicles they sell, but Teslas require virtually no maintenance. Their electric motors require no oil changes, they have no transmissions or drive-lines or other normal car bric a brac that is expensive to maintain. Because of this, a dealer would be incentivized to sell traditional cars to profit from maintenance, putting Tesla at a sales disadvantage.

Plus Teslas are hi-tech. That makes the local car salesman a bad fit to sell this equipment. They typically know more about the snakeskin that makes up their boots than they do about over-the-air wireless updates and AC/DC inverters. 

Additionally, people hate going to car lots. It’s like going to the dentist for most people. And the same pressure that car companies are willing to apply to shoppers on the lot is being applied to state legislators, and we all know how they crumble in front of money.

Mostly, however, these laws are designed to keep the disruptive car maker from penetrating their markets. It’s very interesting, however, that so called capitalists are only capitalists to the extent that their products need to be unfettered. When a business challenges them, they become extremely protectionist.


So, don’t be deceived. GM is not sponsoring the bill because they have some purity. They are creating protectionism and they are hiding behind the rules they manufactured. Everyone, except the legacy car giants lose on this proposition. The consumer, the environment, and the market place. So let’s take on Elon Musk’s call to action and fight this crony-capitalism bill.

Feature photo courtesy of Flickravailable under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license

Feature photo courtesy of Flickravailable under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license

Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company that made him a millionaire before the age of 40. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney