Electric car manufacturer Tesla won raves from Consumer Reports. It snagged Car & Driver’s Car of the Year award. It earned top marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in crash test results. Plus — the company inspires loyalty among its customers bordering on fanaticism. So who could possibly want to block it from selling its cars?
Car dealers. In a remarkable culture clash, the new-age California-based company is being hammered by politically connected mega-dealers accustomed to padding their profits by engaging in a whole range of shady practices that harken back to horse-trading days.
In the latest skirmish, auto dealers succeeded in barring Tesla from being able to sell its popular cars in one of the nation’s largest car markets — the state of Texas.
One interesting analysis of Why Tesla lost the battle to car dealers in Texas
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that the Tesla Model S earned a 5-star rating — in each crash configuration — front, side, rear, and rollover.
The agency’s testing also showed that the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants, based on specific scoring.
According to Tesla, the vehicle’s unique design creates major injury-prevention advantages. The California-based automaker explained, “The Model S has the advantage in the front of not having a large gasoline engine block, thus creating a much longer crumple zone to absorb a high speed impact. This is fundamentally a force over distance problem – the longer the crumple zone, the more time there is to slow down occupants at g loads that do not cause injuries.”
The sedan’s low center of gravity and the mid-mount position of the battery pack also make the vehicle remarkably stable and unlikely to tip over, particularly when compared with SUVs and minivans with much higher centers of gravity.
Despite its stellar safety performance, Tesla still faces an uphill battle with auto dealers, who seek to force the company to stop selling vehicles directly to the public, instead of making its customers spend an average of 4 hours at a car dealership in order to drive a Tesla home.