It doesn’t like the franchise laws in the Lone Star State…
Starting a new automaker is pretty tough these days, just ask Elon Musk. Lucid is facing some of the same battles as Tesla as it tries foregoing the established dealership franchises and instead sells directly to consumers. In some states this direct sales model works well enough, however there are others like Texas where Lucid has run into trouble. Because of that, Lucid has filed suit against the state of Texas, accusing the government of engaging in “economic protectionism.”
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The suit, which according to Automotive News was filed in Austin, alleges Texas is engaging in anti-competitive activities in an effort to force automakers to sell their vehicles through established dealerships.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, Lucid has decided to try using the same method Tesla deployed successfully in Michigan. Instead of slugging it out in court, Tesla settled with the state, working out an arrangement where citizens of the state not only can purchase an electric car online, they can get them serviced at Tesla Service Center in their area instead of having to ship them to another state. However, Tesla still can’t sell cars directly to consumers in Texas, despite the company has relocated its headquarters to Austin.
Many dealer networks would love to help sell the Lucid Air, a luxury all-electric sedan which starts at $87,400. However, Lucid has faced production problems, meaning many reservation holders might have a long wait before they get their EV.
Like Tesla, shoppers who want to buy a Lucid can do so through the company’s website or at a Studio, which are owned by the automaker. After-sales service is also handled directly by Lucid instead of third-party dealerships. Naturally, traditional dealers see this trend as threatening.
In the filing, Lucid argues keeping sales and service out of the hands of third parties is an advantage. Not only does it help Lucid monitor for problems in real-time, the automaker claims it results in a better overall experience for customers.
Source: Automotive News
Images via Lucid