Tesla’s Direct Sales Model Recognized by Volkswagen, Copied by Others

Automakers are moving toward a direct sales business model like the one Tesla uses amidst a transition to electric vehicles (EVs).

Ford, Volkswagen, Stellantis and others are considering how to shift their businesses to become as valuable as Tesla’s, with many moving towards a direct sales model, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Ford outlined a new system that doesn’t stock EVs at dealerships but instead lets them order vehicles through the sites at a “no-haggle” price.

Traditional dealerships are allowed to set their own pricing, irrelevant of MSRP. Recently, examples of insane markups from dealers have caused anger by consumers.

Volkswagen U.S. Sales Head Ray Mikiciuk pointed directly to Tesla for creating the new model, saying, “We looked at the competition that had gone before us, and frankly that’s predominantly Tesla. They created this online-order system.”

As the saying goes, “good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

Being such a significant shift from the dealership model, automakers and consumers alike are concerned about extra costs of electrification, also being a reason for the companies to move away from the antiquated system.

During a recent media briefing, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said, “The additional costs of electrification cannot be paid by the consumer.”

Many barriers still remain to make EVs more affordable and easy to adopt, including legislation mandating the dealership model.

Despite major shifts to the direct sales model, many states feature laws that don’t allow direct sales, including Texas, where Tesla’s newest U.S. Gigafactory is located.