by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Is it any business of the State of North Carolina to prevent her citizens from buying a car, such as the Tesla Model S electric car, directly from the manufacturer online or over the phone?
Apparently, not one, not two, but almost seven dozen North Carolinians have bought those cars from Tesla. This has the already highly protected N.C. automobile dealers upset and prompted a bill, S.B. 327, that would prevent such transactions in the future. It has passed the Senate unanimously.
Granted, automobile dealerships are used to state law protecting them from competition. See Daren Bakst’s report on state law limiting “the establishment and relocation of new-vehicle dealerships in ‘relevant market areas‘ where the same make of car is sold,” for example.