Power to the people -- as in electric power, and people who want to buy Tesla electric motorcars directly from the manufacturer.
A White House petition that demands Tesla Motors be allowed to sell straight to consumers -- and not through dealerships -- passed the magic 100,000 signature threshhold this week, which means an official response is in the offing, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 100,000 signatures means an official response from the Obama Administration is due.
The carmaker is trying to sell directly to customers online, by phone, or in some cases, Tesla stores, the newspaper reported. That's prompted outrage, outcry and some out-maneuvering by dealership associations, who say that bypassing the old-school sales model outstrips competition and is bad for the consumer.
Tesla is squaring off with dealers as well as lawmakers in New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Minnesota, the newspaper reported.
Auto dealerships provide a fair amount of local sales tax base, so they do wield some formidable political power, the newspaper noted.
The dealership association has noted that local dealers are a necessity for the sale of cars -- which, as you may note, cannot be bought directly from the likes of Toyota, Ford, or Alfa Romeo.