• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Tesla fighting New Jersey’s “free market”

Many may think this unfair but I am making a point. Chris Christie claims to represent free markets, reduced government regulation and an open business climate for the state of New Jersey. Many believe his next job will be in Washington. But wait a minute. If Obama is responsible for everything that government in DC does badly, is not Chris the one to blame in New Jersey? I think fair is fair.

Think about this for a moment. Tesla has two factory-owned stores in NJ selling the advent garde and arguably the coolest car in America. But New Jersey is telling Tesla that it has to close those shops and sell the cars through a franchised dealer network. The reason? The government in Trenton thinks that manufacturers would be able to compete unfairly with existing dealerships.

tesla-model-sIn other words, Christie’s state thinks that, if Tesla sells directly to consumers, prices would be cheaper direct from a manufacturer and buyers would buy direct. They are right, of course. The writing is on the wall. The market place always moves inevitably towards economies and the future of franchised dealerships is certainly heading towards a dead end.

Today’s market allows for direct access, and more and more consumers are waking up to that fact. It has come to be the norm in broadcast entertainment content, books, music and, soon enough, to automobiles.

What is the pushback from governments like Christie’s NJ constituents? A strong lobby of wealthy dealerships that squeeze the legislators to keep the status quo and protect its protected monopolistic markets. Dealerships are the modern version of Blockbuster video. We don’t need them anymore, and they are simply an unwanted middleman skimming off the top.

So Governor Christie (and the state legislature that enacted the law), why not stand up for your citizens and support a REAL free market? Speak out on behalf of your citizenry and let the markets themselves decide which model is best… Intermediary dealerships or direct from corporate?

New Jersey is a narrow state. Almost anywhere you live in Jersey is an hour or so away from a neighboring state. Delaware in the south, Pennsylvania to the west and New York to the north. If the prognosticators and government shills are right, if any of those states stopped protecting the wealthy dealers and allowed direct sales…New Jersey residents are an hour away from better deals.

Of course, the reverse is true as well. NJ could be the spoiler in the region and the adjoining states could create a rising tide of buyers in NJ’s unregulated auto shopping environment. Think of the increases in sales tax that would foster.

Nah. I think we should just keep things as they are until there is no competitive advantage to LEAD.

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