"The business model that works best is having the manufacturers focus on building quality products and the dealers focused on selling and serving the vehicles," NADA said in a statement.
So far, no outside auto dealers have taken action against Tesla's stores on this basis, Bellavia said, but they should. While traditional dealers may not feel threatened because Tesla sells "niche" products, their stores could set a dangerous precedent should a major automaker decide to try the idea.
Meanwhile, Bellavia insisted, Tesla's idea is doomed to failure. He agrees with the NADA that car companies know how to make cars, but dealers know how to sell them. In the end, he said, Tesla will go back to the old ways, he insisted.
"The idea that they're reinventing automotive retailing is somewhat laughable," he said.