Texas Gov. Rick Perry: the pros of allowing Tesla to sell direct to customers outweigh the cons

In the which-state-will-land-Tesla’s gigafactory bracket, we’ve got four contenders: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Tesla is currently unable to sell its vehicles directly to customers in Texas. Each state is eager to land the $5 billion factory and the 6,500 highly desirable manufacturing jobs that come with it.

“I think it’s time for Texans to have a very open conversation about this and talk about the pros and the cons,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry in a conversation Monday with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.  “I’m going to think that the pros of allowing this to happen are going to outweigh the cons.”

“Tesla is a big project, it’s a $5 billion project,” said Perry, according to a transcript provided by FOX Business News. “A lot of people are going to be getting their jobs.  And I think the cache have been able to say we put that manufacturing facility in our state is one that’s hard to pass up.  So the general public is going to take a look at this and say, do they think it’s in the best interest for the State of Texas, the people in the State of Texas, whether they are consumers or people who will get jobs from this Tesla plant being built, that we leave that old and some would say antiquated protection in there for the car dealers?  I think it is a conversation that is worth happening, and I think the people in the State of Texas are basically going to say, you know what, we don’t need to be protected.  We like being able to negotiate straight away.  So I think we’re one of four states that’s being seriously considered by Elon Musk and Tesla folks.  So hopefully the legislators and the officials in Texas will have a very open, thoughtful conversation about do we want to lead the country when it comes to manufacturing.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry; file photo by the Associated Press.


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  • Capt996

    really slick Perry? funny how you were quick to not allow a vote the first time this came up. or were the dinners with the shady NADA and its dealers too exciting for you to comment then?

  • Steve H

    it will be interesting to see what happens if Tesla does not choose Texas. I think it’s unlikely Texas will get the Gigafactory. If the Gigafactory does not go to Texas, there do remain future projects in the next 5 years or so, both from SpaceX and Tesla, that Texas could land.

  • Alan

    A number of State policies protect the traditional dealer model, not just Texas, New Jersey and several others. The people of Texas want the change, but the dealer association obviously does not. It’s a matter to time before it changes. The Gigafactory is likely to go Texas – central geographic location for distribution – and of the 4 States under consideration, TX is the only one with seaports for overseas distribution – as well as a right to work State, no State income tax, # 1 export State, #2 Tesla market, etc. To expand on Steve H’s comment, it has been purported that SpaceX or related entity has already been buying land on the Gulf Coast near Brownsville, TX to launch rockets.

    • Steve H

      Alan, interesting re current land purchases.

      I think TX could be a future site for a vehicle factory (i.e. trucks) for the points regarding distribution you are raising, but it’s location is a liability for the Gigafactory. The vast majority of Gigafactory output will be battery packs headed to Tesla’s existing plant in the Bay Area of California, where the packs will go into cars being assembled there.

      • Interpreter

        It will be nice to see tracks with name
        “TEXAS”, I think it is brand name in WW.
        It is May be not less than “VOLVO”, “Mercedes”.
        Robust and stylish.

      • eFarther

        Build many complete cars/trucks in Texas, and send a fraction of output of battereis to California? Sounds like a good idea to me.

  • Alan

    Steve, I should have expanded on my comment – as I have been thinking since the Gigafactory was first announced, at something like potentially 10 Million SqFt in size, that an automobile factory might very well be done in tandem with the battery factory. Tesla, if there cars get more affordable and their market ten folds in size (and they are headed there with affordable battery packs that the Gigafactory will make) – Tesla just might build one or two new factories across the U.S.

  • Bermudaguy

    The frightened ‘protectionist’ measures in place by the auto industry is understandable, but the bigger picture of America….actually manufacturing something has become an alien idea. That is a shame when you consider that America led the world ( once upon a time) in this industry.
    I think all states should embrace change and look for ways to incorporate a singular manufacturer/distribution system into play. Perhaps the customer won’t like it, preferring multiple choices on the same lot. Personally, that’s what I would like, but the price and haggling will certainly be reduced.
    But the jobs! How could any sane state say no to jobs?

  • john

    what about Europe could it happen here ? Tesla direct sales?

  • So, do you believe in a free market or not? Or do you like monopolies in place that stifle consumer-friendly prices at the behest of the Blue-blood American oligarchs with lobbyists (i.e. special interests that the right pretends to not like)?

  • Robert Fahey