Sunday, 26 May 2013

That Little Damn Car

Tesla is this nifty new little car company, who only manufacturers electric or battery-run cars.  To be honest, while most folks were considering this a loser three years ago....in the last six months....they've started to show some excitement, and they just might be able to survive and profit in America.

How?

First, they went out and built top-notch cars.  We aren't talking about crappy workmanship like Chrysler in the 1970s....or even the current decent job that Ford is doing.....they simply built a fine car without issues.

Second, their battery development is peaking at the right time, and surging ahead.  The best and brightest delivered a superior battery.

Third and final....they cut out franchise sales.  Yeah, it's designed in a way that you go to a showroom and there are only X number of these throughout the US and ask tough questions with a guy who can actually answer them.  None of these Larry-characters who can't explain turbo-engines, ABS, or wiper-sensors.  You walk over the showroom after traveling five hours, drink some fine coffee, engage in two hours of chat with the expert at the showroom, and go home.

If you want to buy the car, you go on-line.  You make the order, and pay a down-payment.  You later back this up with the check or the bank loan.

The guys buying the Telsa cars?  They aren't farmers, bar-tenders, or low-end guys.  If you look at the crowd mostly bragging over Telsa ownership....they are engineers or significant income folks.  Sixty to eighty thousand will be what it takes to buy a new one.  The smaller engine deal will run around 55 mph, and get you 230 miles on one charge.  The bigger engine at the same speed.....300 miles on one charge.

The charging time?  It gets to be interesting for an engineer to comprehend.  When it leaves the factory with version one of the charger deal.....you get 31 miles off each hour of charge.  If you were smart and spent the extra $1,500....you'd get a second plug-in to the car and you could 62 miles charged for each hour on the wall.

The garage charger?  Settle yourself in for $1,200.  Some states have tough installation rules, and you'd have to hire a professional.  Some states have lax laws, and Joe, your budddy at work, could do the job for you.

But we need to start mixing in the problem of how they cut the price to such a level, by by-passing franchise operations.  You see, some states weren't happy about that idea.  For years and years....the franchise owners made tons of money, and spread the wealth by paying off Republicans and Democrats.  This was a cash-cow for political folks to enjoy.

So this past week....North Carolina stood up and are working at implementing this law.  You can't sell the Tesla in the state, without a franchise guy in the middle.  Basically, they are making a law that no North Carolina citizen can make the purchase and register such a car.

You can figure....to put even one single franchise in North Carolina, in the normal sense, it's bound to cost an additional $5k onto each car.  Around $3k would rest with the franchise boss, and the rest spread between Republicans and Democrats.  Then, everyone would be happy.  Course, a guy in South Carolina....could still buy the car for $5k less, and folks in North Carolina would just shake their heads in disbelief of the unfairness.

So, a guy from Bama would look at this and ponder for five minutes.  Basically, you go to Tesla and just say that you'd volunteer to be the one and only Tesla salesman in North Carolina.  You'd go up....find some one-dog town in the state, and put up a trailer, and a $10,000 fancy aluminum building with one display car on the floor, and a computer hook-up.  You take a $100 bill from the North Carolina purchaser, and let him use your laptop to make the purchase if he was happy.

When the dimwits from the state office showed up....you'd show your franchise agreement, your cash box, and offer them a soda from your Pepsi-machine.

There would be some hostile feelings by the Republicans and Democrats....that you spoiled their mess.  But you were perfectly legal.

The sad thing here....is that politics or religion always seems to mess up some successful business (bootleg wiskey, honky tonk bars, fireworks, oil drilling, or even construction).  The shocking thing is that someone actually made a car that finally could run for 200 miles on one charge, and likely cost you less than $2 for that charge.  If the car battery could just last six years....it might be worth the hassle involved.