Tesla Motor Company, the leading electric vehicle manufacturer, is turning the automotive industry on its head. It turns out, everything it does is different. Not only do their cars plug in as opposed to filling up, but the company plugs directly in to their customers as well. Tesla is the only automobile manufacturer that sells directly to its customers, eliminating dealerships and their sales representatives from the supply chain equation. At a time when Amazon Prime boxes are ubiquitous fixtures on porches across America, why not get your car in the same fashion? There is no doubt we are ready for it.
Several states, most notably New Jersey, have a big problem with it. In fact, the New Jersey Coalition of Automobile Retails (NJCAR), is up in arms over this. Their position against it is feeble. Tom Dougherty, a sales veteran at an upscale dealership in Princeton, NJ, said “”They wanted to go direct, which means no sales force. That’s cutting out a lot of people. No way that’s gonna fly.” Why is that not going to fly, Tom? You’d be hard-pressed to find Americans in love with their car salesman. In fact, most people utterly disdain shopping for a new car because of the supply chain. Sadly, NJ law does stipulate selling cars directly to the public is illegal. This antiquated law should be recalled faster than the Ford Pinto to allow people to choose how they buy a car. This protectionist mentality hurts NJ consumers and prevents freedom of choice – something we are all quick to point to as a cornerstone of this country. Why is Tesla doing this? Because it brings better value to its customers, plain and simple.
And with that, OIC and Tesla stand together in providing their customers an avenue to purchase their products in the most efficient way possible to attain maximum value. At OIC, we are dedicated to simplifying the supply chain in the orthopaedic implant industry. Just like the automobile industry, sales representatives play entirely too much of a role in the supply chain for implants. And, we trust the market to make the decision on whether this is the model of the future or not. Our success or failure is the canary in the coal mine for the “direct from the manufacturer” model. Let the market tell OIC or Tesla that their respective models are wrong, not protectionist behavior propagated by lobbyists protecting their constituents. So far, for both companies, the market is doing anything but frowning upon the value and honesty each competitor brings to their industries.
The fact of the matter is that free-market economics berths change and innovation in the pursuit of optimum value. Those who shy from it or try to prevent it inevitably get pushed to the side for the greater good. Be it your electric car for the best price possible, or high-value implants that drastically reduce patients’ bills, change is alive and well and the American public is better off for it. So go ahead, add that vehicle to your shopping cart and get on with it.