A petition which focuses on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is only about 6,200 signatures away from requiring a comment from the White House. One of Tesla’s fans created the petition in an attempt to get the White House to assert its influence in favor of the company’s direct to consumer sales model. In order to prompt a White House response, the petition must have 100,000 signatures by Friday. It’s picking up steam though, and there’s a good chance the petition will make it.
Odds Look Good For Tesla Petition
The Tesla fan who wishes only to be known as Ken told ValueWalk last week that it looked like his petition would hit 100,000 signatures just in time. The Washington Post reports that John Voelcker of HighGearMedia said Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) emailed its customers on Friday, including a link to Ken’s petition and asking them to sign it.
Before that email, there were about 36,000 signatures on Ken’s petition. The morning after the email, the number had risen to 40,000, and by the end of the weekend, there were about 70,000 signatures on the petition. When I started writing this story, the petition needed about 6,200 signatures, and in just a few minutes’ time, that number had dropped below 5,000.
Tesla’s Direct To Consumer Sales Model
Perhaps the biggest problem Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has faced since it started selling vehicles is its direct to consumer sales model. If the soaring number of signatures is any indication, consumers like it. However auto dealers on the other hand, hate it. They’ve launched efforts against Tesla in several states, although the automaker has managed to sneak through a loophole in some areas. The company sets up showrooms to show off its vehicles, although consumers in some states must take a road trip to another state if they wish to test drive one.
Of course even if the petition started by Ken does get the number of signatures required to garner a response from the White House, it may not have much effect on state laws. Each state sets its own laws regarding auto dealerships and whether automakers can own dealerships. The best the White House can do is voice its support in Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s favor and see what happens.
UPDATE: 9PM EST: The petition has hit the required 100,000 signatures mark.