Tesla's gone up against dealership lobbies in numerous states in the United States, and their battle for Tesla Stores in Connecticut has been ratcheted up a notch with a bit of public opinion. As reported by The Connecticut Post (via Electrek), Tesla commissioned a survey of Connecticut residents, finding that 75% of likely voters support buying cars directly from a manufacturer instead of a dealership. The entrenched dealerships, as you might imagine, are pushing back.
Tesla's sales model has depended on circumventing the age-old independent dealership model, opting instead to sell directly online and to build and staff their own corporate stores. Dealerships, meanwhile, are pushing to simultaneously deny Tesla the opportunity for direct sales and force them to use local dealerships instead. Even in states where Tesla has faced hostile legislatures and been shut out of local sales they've declined to partner with dealerships.
Speaking of legislatures, Tesla also asked in the survey about a Connecticut General Assembly's bill to open the state to just three and only three Tesla Stores, and saw a majority of voters opposing such restrictions as well.
The dealerships, for their part, understandably disagree that Tesla should be allowed to operate their own stores in the state. Jim Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, countered with his own survey. Well, his own hypothetical survey, that is, which would hypothetically leverage sympathies towards local and generational ownership of dealerships.
When three-quarters of respondents say they support somebody who wants to circumvent your business model, your only option is to lob hypotheticals, apparently. Sorry, guys, you brought this on yourselves.