A video by Edmunds’ haggle-free car shopping service was not designed by Tesla, but in the eyes of some, it might just as well have been.
As Green Car Reports observes which dug up a copy from YouTube of one of four videos after Edmunds pulled them following complaints from its dealer customers, the video makes a point.
Most people who follow this space are by now abundantly aware Tesla is facing various levels of resistance from dealer groups around the country over its direct sales model.
It so far refuses to franchise any dealers, although it leaves that possibility on the table for when its volume increases, and Tesla chief Elon Musk has said one day it could use a “hybrid” sales model of some dealers plus factory retail stores and service centers.
But it took Edmunds to caricaturize the stereotypes that car shoppers have said they detest as they side with Tesla.
And, Edmunds soon ceased the ads for its “Price Promise” service after not shoppers, but car dealers objected.
As Automotive News reported, one e-commerce director canceled his Cincinnati dealership group’s subscriptions to Edmunds.com which had up until then posted the dealership’s inventory. Such arrangements are a revenue source for Edmunds.
For its part, the chief marketing officer for Edmunds’ third-party car seller said company executives were surprised. The whole thing was meant to be a joke with exaggerated and lighthearted stereotypes she called “very outdated.”
They did not expect to strike a nerve, she said, but these days, perhaps nerves are a little more raw than usual?
Last week Michigan became the latest state to shut the door in Tesla’s face. The near-unanimous decision was decried by Tesla as being done by deeply influential lobbyists for car dealers.