Today, the papers reported on an absurd New Mexico law that prohibits “direct from manufacturer” sales of automobiles in New Mexico. As I recently wrote, while it would be great if they located their factory here, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about Tesla’s reliance on subsidies and its business model.
Of course, when it comes to government policies and Tesla, it cuts both ways. In fact, New Mexico law basically invalidates the company’s entire business model of selling its cars directly to consumers (we’re not the only state that does this). I’m SURE this regulation has nothing to do with preserving the business model of a powerful special interest group (auto dealers) at the consumers’ expense and the expense of innovative business models like Tesla’s.
I’m also absolutely positive that a company looking to make a massive, $5 billion investment, would NEVER decide to take their business to a state where their business model is legal as opposed to one where it is not…like a gun manufacturer moving out of a state (New York) where the Gov. has declared them and their ilk “unwelcome” and adopted some of the toughest laws regulating their industry.
The point is that New Mexico’s economy is unnecessarily hamstrung by burdensome regulations. We’ve critiqued a slew of those regulations here and here. The average citizen doesn’t understand anti-competitive regulations and how they harm them. The average policymaker (even really good ones) don’t relish taking on well-organized special-interests head-on.
The truth is that job-killing regulations are found throughout New Mexico Law. This is just the latest one to be discovered by the media and the public. I admit to not knowing that New Mexico prohibited “direct to customer” sales of vehicles, but was aware of the recent New Jersey ban. Perhaps policymakers can be convinced to take on at least some of these special interests in order to advance New Mexico’s flailing economy?