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Tesla Motors hopes to change way people buy cars

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-21 20:16:00-04

The hottest alternative-fuel car in the nation right now could change the way people buy cars in the future.

A fight between Tesla Motors and car dealers is heating up across the country as Tesla hopes to allow people to purchase their vehicles directly from their company as opposed to a car dealership.

Tesla is bypassing franchise car dealers, which the electric car company claims would increase costs.

“We’d have to do a franchise, we’d be forced into doing it through a franchise dealer, we don’t think that’s appropriate – we don’t think that’s effective,” said Diarurd O’Conner with Tesla Motors. “I’m not sure that’s the role of government, to prescribe a business model in the free market.”

The problem with this Tesla Motors' idea is that it threatens to upend a century-old way of selling cars, according to auto dealers.

Charlie Howard of the Auto Dealers Association said franchise dealers are a major part of their communities. He added auto sales could threaten millions of dollars in local sales tax and jobs of thousands of workers.