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  • maguro_01 maguro_01 Jun 20, 2013 7:00 AM Flag

    Will Texas clamp down on Web retailing?

    All Web retailers should have an interest in this case, certainly including this one. If the auto dealers can buy their business model as law in a state legislature Pay-To-Play system, other brick and mortar retailers will bring their checkbooks and stand in line.

    Texas is preventing Tesla auto (TSLA) from selling cars over the Web in Texas, they must be sold through a conventional franchised dealer only. That basically kills any real future for electrics in Texas as they break the business model for conventional dealers. They make most of their money in their service and used car departments, not new car sales. For them car sales are a bit like the razor-razor blade model. Electrics, done right, require little service.

    Technology can't presently make low-end electric cars that are practical - meaning with a range of at least 200 miles. Tesla at the high end can just put in a humongous Li-Ion battery and the market is paying for it. A step or two in the battery tech would bring electrics into being competitive in everyday use. IC engine cars especially at the high end with eight speed up auto transmissions, tighter emission controls, exotic materials for light weight plus robustness in accidents, and increasing CAFE requirements can only increase steeply in price and complexity. Texas proposes freezing technology where it is.

    Texas, a Confederate state under the covers, talks up capitalism, individualism, free enterprise, and all that. But, like the others, the reality is who shows up in the state capitol with a check.

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