Seeking Alpha

Auto industry watch: A few more cracks in the dealership model

  • Cadillac (GM) plans to use test-drive centers and pop-up storefronts in Europe instead of expanding its dealership network.
  • The concept will also be tested in the U.S. to varying degrees by Tesla Motors (TSLA -5.5%), Porsche (VLKAY), and BMW (BAMXY).
  • What to watch: Though the dealership model is firmly entrenched and protected by state law in many regions, there's been more cracks to the model on the luxury side as of late. For now, automobile analysts see brand retail storefronts serving in a complementary role until some of the legal questions are answered on how far they can go in converting prospects to buyers.
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Comments (23)
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    Vico Confino
    Clairvoyant

     

    I have seen the future and suggest all Americans learn a second language.
    Like, Chinese ( Ni hao) or Russian ( Tovarich )

     

    Breaking News:
    GM to extend gasoline pipeline from Mars to Venus to Pluto and teach Elon Musk
    a lesson he will never forget.
    GM has promised Venusians and Plutonians a free Cadillac and 100 bitcoins.
    All the Cadillacs will have pedals until the pipeline is completed. Contemplating
    an IPO to give all hard working Americans a share in this great venture.
    Stay tuned.

     

    Off to see the Wizard in my doomed Tesla 85.
    Vico
    24 Mar 2014, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi Vico,

     

    Weren't we suppose to learn Japanese many years ago? What happened and why are we doing Chinese/Russian? These too, will fail. God Bless America!

     

    I originally though the Tesla owners came from select demographics which may limit their success. I now realize (from your GM Mars/Venus/Pluto reference) that you are just average Joes doing drugs like the rest of us.

     

    So how many dime bags are included in a Model S purchase (assuming that this is the Wizard)?
    24 Mar 2014, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (2739) | Send Message
     
    Ha Ha Ha. Vic, you are one in a Trillion.
    24 Mar 2014, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    Reply: chipdoctor

     

    I have inside information that the average American never sees or hears about.
    My 27 year old company with an A+ Better Business Rating is being forced out of business by the inept and incompetent management powers awarded by U.S. Customs Border Protection. Visit maxarmory.com and click slider until you see AMERICANS. Watch the video and form your own opinion. The paper trail leads all the way to Wash. DC
    The select demographics that you mention are those born and raised in Brooklyn, New York who elevated the process of identifying the pathetic politicians who have turned this once great country into a cesspool.
    I just turned 81 and have been blessed to have lived in the best times of America.
    As for dime bags I can understand why my computer programmer became a drug addict and embezzled $300,000 from my company. See the video of his arrest by Googling robinvandevoir
    Good times, bad times I have seen them all. The future does not look good.
    "Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them".
    Wipe the cobwebs from your eyes and watch the government controlled TV news, radio news, newspapers and read about the Texas teacher who was fired for telling her students to speak English.
    I just learned that I can run for Congress in my district and I don't need a college degree to enter the election. Isn't this a great country.
    $150,000 a year for chicken dinners and ribbon cutting ceremonies
    Sorry I haven't learned to say goodbye in Chinese or Russian. Guess we can talk later when we meet at the Gulag.
    Vico
    you can't spell Victory without VICO
    24 Mar 2014, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    Hey Surferbroadband
    Reply

     

    Please be informed that you are revealing your age when you use the word
    Trillion.
    It is now known as a Gizillion.
    That does not go to far when Michelle O is staying at a China hotel for $8,900 a night.

     

    Life begins at 81
    Vico
    24 Mar 2014, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (2739) | Send Message
     
    Sorry Vic,

     

    You are one in a Gizillion!!

     

    I am pushing 50, so sorry.
    24 Mar 2014, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi Vico,

     

    Sorry to hear about your company and my apologies for the drug reference (I read the Glock article).

     

    And I have been blessed with travel outside the US, so I do understand that our (and most TV) is biased.

     

    There are some that claim you do not even have to be a US citizen to be a President anymore...good luck with Congress (I hope someone can start an improvement path there).

     

    Zài jiàn - Goodbye, though I think this proverb is better:

     

    xiǎo dòng bù bǔ, dà dòng chī kǔ -- A small hole not mended in time will become a big hole much more difficult to mend.
    24 Mar 2014, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    chipdoctor
    Reply; Vico Confino

     

    I love your proverb.
    Curious....does that apply to a well formed female body who believes the
    the world's three greatest promises.
    1) I promise the check is in the mail
    2) I promise I love you
    3) I promise not to ---- in your -----

     

    You don't stop laughing because you get old
    You get old because you stop laughing
    Stay well,
    Vico
    Life begins at 81
    Read my book it's free: freecondobook.com lots of laughs
    24 Mar 2014, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Cassina Tarsia
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    Here we go ... looks like Tesla has started more than just a move toward electric cars! Five years from now we should be able to buy whatever car we want at a store or on the internet without going to one of those old fashioned dealerships. And by then Tesla will be firmly entrenched in the minds of most Americans as the car that started it all!
    24 Mar 2014, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi Cassina,

     

    Any reason why you are excluding many of the other EV manufacturers, such as Nissan, GM, etc?

     

    I think Nissan did the store thing in Tokyo well before Tesla did in Silicon Valley.

     

    Here's a 2000 GM recall for all you Tesla owners to consider (one bad enough not to cover up).

     

    On March 2, 2000, GM issued a recall for 450 Gen I EV1s. The automaker had determined that a faulty charge port cable could eventually build up enough heat to catch on fire. Sixteen "thermal incidents" and at least one fire occurred as a result of the defect, destroying a car leased by Ron Brauer and Ruth Bygness as it was charging.
    24 Mar 2014, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • Cassina Tarsia
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    chipdoctor ... Tesla is the first and only U.S. automaker with enough grits to seriously take on the big guys right here in our own country! There have been other smaller efforts but none have succeeded. Now Tesla is here and has no other choice than to sell its cars in the way that it is doing if it is to succeed as a viable company. At the same time, though, in order to survive, it must break the dealership monopoly. And I think it will just that.
    24 Mar 2014, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    Hi Cassina,
    Vico here.
    I believe you once mentioned you deal in paranormal observations.
    What makes you think there will be roads to drive our electric autos on.

     

    Just joking Cassina. Everyone knows that our politicians are the best that money can buy.
    LOL
    Vico
    24 Mar 2014, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi Cassina,

     

    I agree that Tesla is unique (bar Tucker and some others) to take on the big guys.

     

    I hope however, that it is for the improvement of our society and environment, and not just to line to golden pockets of Silicon Valley investors.
    24 Mar 2014, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • Cassina Tarsia
    , contributor
    Comments (664) | Send Message
     
    Hi Vico ...
    What you say is true! But we have to wait another two years to find out about "the roads" part ... whether there will be any, or at least any here in California. Don't know about that ... maybe we won't have any politicians after the big change either ... wouldn't that be nice! I think Elon's one big mistake was to buy his car and rocket factories in California - he may need a submarine to find them by the time that the Model E comes out, or is supposed to come out. Also, our sea level is rising fast because of the global warming that our politicians say doesn't exist, so Florida may not be safe either ... just a word to the wise ...
    27 Mar 2014, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2630) | Send Message
     
    Sales in Europe are down.

     

    http://bit.ly/1djiuVX
    24 Mar 2014, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi fgrindle,

     

    Germans are smart and realize the value and reliability of Diesel engines, especially at Autobahn speeds.

     

    Don't worry though. Vico can reposition these units for the Mars/Venus/Pluto markets where air limits the outdated ICE operation.
    24 Mar 2014, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (221) | Send Message
     
    Hey Chipdoctor
    Reply: Vico

     

    You don't mean to tell me that GM is giving the Martians, Venusians and Plutonians a screwing.
    Wonder where they learned how to do that.
    Vico Confino
    Noble Prize Winner
    24 Mar 2014, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1782) | Send Message
     
    Hi Vico,

     

    Not yet, as we have not had a chance to impress our form of government on these planets yet (I think we have claim for Mars though, since we were the first there).
    24 Mar 2014, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2630) | Send Message
     
    Notice that they didn't cut prices in Norway. So much for fairness to customers.
    24 Mar 2014, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (2739) | Send Message
     
    The dealership model is bad public policy. Because of 3d printing, any part for any product can be reproduced at low cost. 3d printers can even make metal parts. Lasers are involved for that process.

     

    So a dealership is obsolete. Go to any auto repair shop that has online all the diagrams for all the parts for all the vehicles ever made. Fire up the 3d printer and viola in a few hours or less you can make any part for any vehicle and have it fixed.

     

    A competent mechanic with the parts made from a 3d printer, has no reason to deal with the manufacturer. Except get the 3d diagram to make the parts.

     

    And you don't think Elon Musk knows this?
    24 Mar 2014, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • art57tbird
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    As a 76 year old, and Model S owner I thought I understood BS when talking out both sides of your mouth until I read this article, GM to use test drive centers in lieu of dealerships. This is completely opposite from the article "GM BACK STABS TESLA MOTORS IN OHIO" according to Bloomberg and as published in Transport Evolved on 3/13/2014. WHAT IS GM'S POSTION ???
    24 Mar 2014, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • 123man
    , contributor
    Comments (1214) | Send Message
     
    Here is a radio broadcast wherein the journalists track a NY dealership for about one month - enlightening to say the least -

     

    http://bit.ly/1dsqJzg

     

    listening to it I now know when to buy an ICE car - dealerships apparently have their crosses to bear - Tesla is a breath of fresh air -
    25 Mar 2014, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • 123man
    , contributor
    Comments (1214) | Send Message
     
    Also, here is a ValueWalk article - call it a very positive, negative article - from the same source that brought you fringles article - hmmm

     

    http://bit.ly/1hi2mU1
    28 Mar 2014, 10:50 AM Reply Like
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