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商业 - 汽车

特斯拉CEO:禁止电动车直销新规“变态”

Kirsten Korosec 2014年03月18日

美国新泽西州出台新规,禁止厂家向消费者直销电动汽车,特斯拉被迫将销售门店改为“陈列室”。特斯拉CEO埃隆•穆斯克在公司博客撰文反击称,特斯拉搞直销是迫于无奈,现在新泽西州政府出台这样的禁令很“变态”。

    特斯拉汽车公司(Tesla Motors)CEO埃隆•穆斯克上周五公开指责新泽西州州长克里斯•克里斯蒂,称克里斯蒂与该州的经销商游说团体达成了一个“私下交易”,推动通过了禁止车企在该州将电动汽车直接销售给消费者的提案。

    穆斯克日前在公司的博客上写了一篇洋洋洒洒的文章,称由于法规的变化,特斯拉公司将于4月1日之后将位于新泽西的两家销售中心改成“陈列室”。消费者还能在那里看到实车、提出咨询,但工作人员不能与消费者讨论价格,更不能在店里卖车。感兴趣的消费者仍然可以在纽约曼哈顿的商店里购买特斯拉汽车,也可以在新泽西直接通过特斯拉公司的网站订购。

    穆斯克还表示,特斯拉公司还考虑通过法律行动,争取重新在新泽西州开售。

    上周二,新泽西州机动车委员会(the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)修改了一项法案,禁止汽车公司直接将汽车卖给消费者。提案以6比0投票通过。委员会的发言人艾丽丝•科菲表示,这次修改法案是为了“明确规定,以便与州法律保持一致。”

    穆斯克强调,克里斯蒂州长曾经承诺这个问题会付诸州立法程序投票,而不是像这样交由一个政务官员组成的委员会来决定。穆斯克还称,这项规定“从根本上与法律的意图相抵触”。

    克里斯蒂办公室的一位发言人表示,自从一年前特斯拉在新泽西投入运营以来,该州就曾明确表示,特斯拉公司应该与州立法机关合作通过一项法案,以便在新泽西州的法律下建立新的直销渠道。

    这位名叫凯文•罗伯茨的发言人在一封发给《财富》杂志(Fortune)的邮件中称:“州政府认为,在没有相关法规的情况下单方面改变汽车在新泽西的销售方式的做法不恰当,特斯拉一开始就明白这个立场。”

    新泽西汽车经销商联合会认为这次调整法规符合新泽西的法律,而新泽西的法律一开始就是为公众利益服务的。这个游说团体还表示,特斯拉的厂家直销模式造成了一种“垂直垄断,还限制了竞争”,而且相当于是“让狐狸管鸡笼”,同时限制了消费者的权利,使他们没有机会选择一家合格的、独立的提供保修与安全召回服务的机构。

    穆斯克则在博文中回应说:“除非他们指的是黑手党式的那种‘保护’,他们说的明显不是真的。”

新的销售模式

    特斯拉的商业模式在现今的汽车行业中不可谓不另类,因为绝大部分汽车厂商都是通过特许经销商销售汽车的。

    Navigant研究公司智能交通研究主任约翰•高德纳指出:“业内的确有一些汽车公司通过直销模式销售一些小众车型,但这还是头一次有一家公司想通过这个模式占据大众市场。”

    Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk accused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday of cutting a "backroom deal" with the state's auto dealer lobby to push through a rule change that effectively bars the electric car company from selling vehicles directly to consumers.

    In response to the rule change, Tesla Motors will convert its two sales centers into "galleries" after April 1, Musk wrote in a comprehensive post on the company's blog.

    Consumers will be allowed to see the car and ask questions, but staff will not be able to discuss price or complete a sale in the store. Interested buyers can still purchase Tesla's Model S sedan at its Manhattan store and order vehicles from New Jersey for delivery via the company's website.

    Tesla Motors is also considering legal action to open sales back up in the state, Musk wrote.

    On Tuesday, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission amended a rule to prevent auto manufacturers from selling cars directly to consumers. The rule change, which was approved in a 6-0 vote, was made to "clarify our regulations to conform to state statute," said NJMVC spokeswoman Elyse Coffey.

    Musk insists Gov. Christie promised the issue would be put to a vote before the state legislature, not a commission comprised of political appointees. Musk said the regulation is "fundamentally contrary to the intent of the law."

    A spokesman with Gov. Christie's office says since Tesla first began operating in New Jersey one year ago, it was made clear that the company would need to work with the legislature on a bill to establish new direct-sales operations under New Jersey law.

    "This administration does not find it appropriate to unilaterally change the way cars are sold in New Jersey without legislation and Tesla has been aware of this position since the beginning," spokesman Kevin Roberts said in an e-mail to Fortune.

    The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers argues the regulation change conforms to state law, which was originally enacted to serve the public interest. The lobby group says Tesla's factory-model creates a "vertical monopoly and limits competition" and places the "fox in the charge of the chicken coop" as well as limits consumer access to a qualified, independent source for warranty and safety recall service.

    "Unless they are referring to the mafia version of "protection," this is obviously untrue," Musk wrote.

A new approach

    Tesla Motors' business model is a departure from the status quo in the auto industry, in which manufacturers sell vehicles using franchised dealers.

    "There are companies out there that do sell specific niche vehicles via direct sales," said John Gartner, research director of smart transportation at Navigant Research. "But this is the first time someone has tried to be a mass marketer of vehicles through this model."

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