A fan of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is interceding for the automaker via a petition to the White House, and that petition still needs almost 68,000 signatures before the White House will even comment on it. The fan who created the petition told ValueWalk that he thinks it will pass the signature threshold just in time.
Tesla’s Direct To Consumer Battle
The petition refers to Tesla’s direct to consumer sales model, which has been facing opposition from auto dealers in most states. Many states have restrictions on automakers owning dealerships, but those restrictions vary quite widely. Some completely bar automakers from selling their vehicles directly or even offering test drives. Auto dealers in many states which don’t completely bar Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) from selling its vehicles directly to consumers are attempting to get legislation passed that does.
The automaker has won some of the battles and lost others, but auto dealers have made it pretty clear that they oppose the model. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) does have showrooms set up in several states though, which makes it possible for it to show off its vehicles even if consumers have to go online to purchase them.
Update On The Tesla Petition
Ken, a huge Tesla fan who wished to remain somewhat anonymous, says he started the petition after hearing about attempts by auto dealers in North Carolina who wanted to prevent Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) from selling its vehicles. He created a petition on WhiteHouse.gov after not being able to locate one at first, although he did find one on the site later. He says it’s been an uphill battle trying to get the required amount of signatures in order for the petition to be sent to the White House, but he thinks the petition will make it.
“I promoted the petition to everyone I knew, but after getting to 30 signatures, it stalled for many days,” Ken told ValueWalk. “I had given up hope of even getting to 150. Somehow it still made progress, and once it became publicly visible, it took off.”
He said his projections at first showed the petition reaching 100,000 signatures nine days after the deadline, but on Thursday, it picked up. He said if the petition keeps getting signatures at its current rate, it will hit 100,000 signatures by July 3, two days before the deadline arrives.
“I do recognize that there is little the White House can do about state laws,” Ken said. “But this is a good public forum for people to express the [sic] opinion. Most people are surprised that since this involves interstate commerce, the states are allowed to regulate it.”