Discrimination Against Tesla Owners!

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#1
Yesterday a group of automotive enthusiasts (myself included) brought random cars that we own to Bartle Hall in Kansas City to put on display at the annual Kansas City Auto Show (think LA or Detroit Auto Show but smaller, although Bartle Hall is huge). Since the auto show doesn't fill the entire hall the group that runs the auto show (Automobile Dealer Association of Kansas City) granted the south end of the exhibit hall to the Kansas City Auto Museum to bring in cars of interest to attendees. The museum reached out to the local auto enthusiast community and were able to get volunteers like myself willing to bring our cars and leave them from 3/6-3/10 for the show.

Unfortunately two individuals brought Teslas, one Model S and one Model X and about an hour after bringing them, parking them and getting them display ready someone from the ADAKC came by and said that because Tesla isn't a member of the ADAKC that the two Teslas on display would have to leave, they were not welcome at the show. The owners subsequently had to remove the cars that they are enthusiastic about. There were other cars on display whose manufacturers are also not part of the ADAKC, for example Noble, Pontiac, Ariel and Lambourghini to name a few, but those cars were not asked to leave. Since Tesla was being singled out I authored the following email to the two directors of the association: (If others here have thoughts about how to draw attention to this discrimination please feel free to forward on this information)

My Email:
Dear Larry and Natalie,
It has come to my attention that a particular make of automobile is being singled out for unfair discrimination at the KC Auto Show this year and that the owners of these cars were asked to remove them from Bartle Hall. The cars in question were 2 used Tesla automobiles owned by private individuals and put on display as part of the KC Auto Museum’s variety of cars display at the KC Auto Show. As an officer/member in multiple car clubs in Kansas City (Porsche, Jaguar, All British, Tesla) I find this action reprehensible and urge you to immediately reconsider your actions before something like this goes viral and brings negative publicity to the car show.
I understand that with regard to NEW cars that Tesla does not have a dealer network and does not participate in the Automobile Dealer Association of Greater Kansas City. I would understand if your association told Tesla that they could not bring new cars down and could not be represented at the show unless they joined the organization. HOWEVER, this is NOT what is happening in this instance. These two cars are privately owned used cars brought by their enthusiastic owners to help support the KC Auto Museum display at the auto show. There were owners who brought Pontiacs, a Noble, a couple of Ariel Atoms and Lambourghinis ALL of which are NOT members of the ADAKC. So if you are going to discriminate against non-members then you need to do it equally and ask that ALL non member cars leave the show, not simply single out Tesla.
Please let me know whether or not the Teslas are welcome to come back or if the unfair discrimination against these owners and their vehicles is going to continue. Speaking of the owners, the people you are hurting are automotive enthusiasts, not the audience you want to hurt. These individuals took their time to clean up their cars and transport them down to Bartle Hall only to be told a few hours later that they had to take them back out. While I currently have 2 cars on display at the show (1956 Jaguar XK140 and 2016 Porsche GT4) I am not sure that I will be willing to support a show in the future that unfairly discriminates against a certain model car. I hesitate to think how Marion Battaglia would react if I told him that either my Jag or Porsche was being discriminated against and being asked to leave the show. As I mentioned this unfair discrimination isn’t hurting Tesla the car company which the association may have an issue with, but rather hurting individual automotive enthusiasts.
Sincerely,
Ken

Some 15+ hours later I have not yet received any response to my email. As you can imagine, members of our local TOC are not happy and most are boycotting the show although I don't know if that really does anything. As I mentioned above, happy to listen to ideas for how we can get the word out about this happening to a couple of our members.

The email addresses for Larry and Natalie are: Lcarl@adakc.com and Nsullivan@adakc.com
 

John A Bailey

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#3
wow unbelievable ...why on earth would ADICK I mean ADAKC membership be required? I just don't think I have ever heard of anything like this. Jeez I would put them in plain view in the parking lot with attached balloons and a big sign inviting people to check it out, explaining the discrimination, being asked to leave...put one of those red noses on the front and "like Rudolph...They never let poor Tesla join in any reindeer games"

Yeah this discrimination needs to go viral ....Electrek / Teslarati where are you?
 

ADK46

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#5
If Larry is anything like the guys on the Rennlist off-topic thread "Is Tesla in trouble", I understand. Tesla is a threat to his belief system, a psychological home invasion, in this case coupled with an actual physical invasion. There's no way to reach him with facts and logic; he's lost to us.

In that thread, the main EV defender is a well-respected woman - in fact the only woman I've encountered on Rennlist, a Model 3 and Porsche 928 owner like myself. You may have more luck with Natalie.

============

I gave the luddites of that thread some personal advice "Don't make being anti-EV a litmus test for your [political orientation]. You can keep your [contentious items], deny science, and all the rest. Allow yourself the option of owning an EV. You might have to move to a different stool at your favorite bar, but it will be worth it."
 

JasonF

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#6
I hate being cruel in return, but I would suggest contacting the owners/managers of the venue as well to let them know this is going on. It’s not so much that it’s anti-Tesla that they should be aware of, but that they may have given the show owners a special rate that they no longer qualify for if the local dealers are using it as “advertising”.
 

MJJ

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#7
I would pull my cars from the show, but not before I notified the local press I was doing so and why.
 

JasonF

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#8
I would pull my cars from the show, but not before I notified the local press I was doing so and why.
That gives me another idea: Contact the owners of all of the rare/exotic older cars at the show and tell them what happened. Encourage them to pull their cars from the show. Then all the show will have left is cars brought in by local dealers...which as I mentioned above, will cause them to have to pay a higher rate for the space, since now they're solely advertising dealerships.
 
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#9
Well the problem with having other owners pull their cars, or me pulling my 2 is that it doesn't hurt the ADAKC who runs the show, instead it hurts the KC Auto Museum who has ALREADY PAID for their space at the show and they are the reason we were bringing our cars, to support the museum and get people to come up to the museum's booth where they could buy memberships to the museum, arrange for tours, or simply get the word out about the museum to help keep the museum in the black. The museum didn't want the Teslas to leave but the museum received direction from the ADAKC to have the Teslas leave. What was the museum to do? If they resisted and said "No" then the ADAKC could have kicked the museum out of the show and all the cars it brought causing a huge headache for the museum. So we don't want to punish the museum, but we do want to get the word out that the show organizers - ADAKC - is the one responsible for this happening!
 

JasonF

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#10
It does hurt the museum, but they have to learn that there is a cost to getting involved with ADAKC and its aggressive tactics. It's up to them to decide then if the cost of alienating car collectors is too high. If the show is suddenly sponsored by someone else next year, people will figure out why.
 

GDN

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#12
What was their plan if you didn't voluntarily remove the cars since you had paid for the space and assume you had signed some sort of agreement that had not listed the "No Tesla" Policy?
 

Dr. J

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#13
Yesterday a group of automotive enthusiasts (myself included) brought random cars that we own to Bartle Hall in Kansas City to put on display at the annual Kansas City Auto Show (think LA or Detroit Auto Show but smaller, although Bartle Hall is huge). Since the auto show doesn't fill the entire hall the group that runs the auto show (Automobile Dealer Association of Kansas City) granted the south end of the exhibit hall to the Kansas City Auto Museum to bring in cars of interest to attendees. The museum reached out to the local auto enthusiast community and were able to get volunteers like myself willing to bring our cars and leave them from 3/6-3/10 for the show.

Unfortunately two individuals brought Teslas, one Model S and one Model X and about an hour after bringing them, parking them and getting them display ready someone from the ADAKC came by and said that because Tesla isn't a member of the ADAKC that the two Teslas on display would have to leave, they were not welcome at the show. The owners subsequently had to remove the cars that they are enthusiastic about. There were other cars on display whose manufacturers are also not part of the ADAKC, for example Noble, Pontiac, Ariel and Lambourghini to name a few, but those cars were not asked to leave. Since Tesla was being singled out I authored the following email to the two directors of the association: (If others here have thoughts about how to draw attention to this discrimination please feel free to forward on this information)

My Email:
Dear Larry and Natalie,
It has come to my attention that a particular make of automobile is being singled out for unfair discrimination at the KC Auto Show this year and that the owners of these cars were asked to remove them from Bartle Hall. The cars in question were 2 used Tesla automobiles owned by private individuals and put on display as part of the KC Auto Museum’s variety of cars display at the KC Auto Show. As an officer/member in multiple car clubs in Kansas City (Porsche, Jaguar, All British, Tesla) I find this action reprehensible and urge you to immediately reconsider your actions before something like this goes viral and brings negative publicity to the car show.
I understand that with regard to NEW cars that Tesla does not have a dealer network and does not participate in the Automobile Dealer Association of Greater Kansas City. I would understand if your association told Tesla that they could not bring new cars down and could not be represented at the show unless they joined the organization. HOWEVER, this is NOT what is happening in this instance. These two cars are privately owned used cars brought by their enthusiastic owners to help support the KC Auto Museum display at the auto show. There were owners who brought Pontiacs, a Noble, a couple of Ariel Atoms and Lambourghinis ALL of which are NOT members of the ADAKC. So if you are going to discriminate against non-members then you need to do it equally and ask that ALL non member cars leave the show, not simply single out Tesla.
Please let me know whether or not the Teslas are welcome to come back or if the unfair discrimination against these owners and their vehicles is going to continue. Speaking of the owners, the people you are hurting are automotive enthusiasts, not the audience you want to hurt. These individuals took their time to clean up their cars and transport them down to Bartle Hall only to be told a few hours later that they had to take them back out. While I currently have 2 cars on display at the show (1956 Jaguar XK140 and 2016 Porsche GT4) I am not sure that I will be willing to support a show in the future that unfairly discriminates against a certain model car. I hesitate to think how Marion Battaglia would react if I told him that either my Jag or Porsche was being discriminated against and being asked to leave the show. As I mentioned this unfair discrimination isn’t hurting Tesla the car company which the association may have an issue with, but rather hurting individual automotive enthusiasts.
Sincerely,
Ken

Some 15+ hours later I have not yet received any response to my email. As you can imagine, members of our local TOC are not happy and most are boycotting the show although I don't know if that really does anything. As I mentioned above, happy to listen to ideas for how we can get the word out about this happening to a couple of our members.

The email addresses for Larry and Natalie are: Lcarl@adakc.com and Nsullivan@adakc.com
You were a lot nicer than I would have been. Excellent e-mail message.
 

ADK46

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#15
My thoughts, easy to give from a distance and in hindsight: Just because someone tells you to do something, you don't have to do it - it must be someone with authority. In this case, someone with authority over the property - the only party that can call a tow truck. That person must conform to any contractual obligations, or in this sort of situation, will want to be careful about getting involved in a contractual dispute among others. They would be wise to consider their liabilities after learning you had permission to park there - the invite is the contract in dispute, verbal or otherwise. Perhaps vaguely stated, but easily interpretable by looking at the cars on display. I'm pretty sure their lawyer would advise the property manager to say "Seems to me he was invited, just like all these other cars. We're not getting involved. By the way, please put a tray under that Ferrari, or remove it."

But you have to consider the effect of the confrontation, burning bridges, etc. At my distance, I hope whatever happens increases rather decreases the odds of getting new legislation passed that permits Tesla's business model - plus some effective consumer safeguards that will encourage Tesla to hire more adults to manage customer-facing operations. Consumers of Fords enjoy the benefits of competition among dealers; we need regulations that provide a substitute for that competition. I digress.
 
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#16
My thoughts, easy to give from a distance and in hindsight: Just because someone tells you to do something, you don't have to do it - it must be someone with authority. In this case, someone with authority over the property - the only party that can call a tow truck. That person must conform to any contractual obligations, or in this sort of situation, will want to be careful about getting involved in a contractual dispute among others. They would be wise to consider their liabilities after learning you had permission to park there - the invite is the contract in dispute, verbal or otherwise. Perhaps vaguely stated, but easily interpretable by looking at the cars on display. I'm pretty sure their lawyer would advise the property manager to say "Seems to me he was invited, just like all these other cars. We're not getting involved. By the way, please put a tray under that Ferrari, or remove it."

But you have to consider the effect of the confrontation, burning bridges, etc. At my distance, I hope whatever happens increases rather decreases the odds of getting new legislation passed that permits Tesla's business model - plus some effective consumer safeguards that will encourage Tesla to hire more adults to manage customer-facing operations. Consumers of Fords enjoy the benefits of competition among dealers; we need regulations that provide a substitute for that competition. I digress.

I don't disagree but keep in mind that we can't be with our cars 24x7, what is something should mysteriously happen to them overnight? Then we have another fight on our hands. We have contacted local media, not sure if they are going to do anything about the story because car dealers do a lot of advertising in local media so the newspaper or tv stations probably don't want to rock the boat. I did reach out to all of them, only heard back from one that sent a short email saying they would look into it, but nothing further.

We are now discussing our options for next year and perhaps doing something outside of the car show that has a large Tesla presence. :)
 

PNWmisty

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#19
Consumers of Fords enjoy the benefits of competition among dealers; we need regulations that provide a substitute for that competition.
That's pretty funny! A Ford dealer has already purchased the car from the manufacturer at a price the manufacturer sets and presumably makes a fair profit on. Then the dealer can sell it for as little or as much markup as they like. So, really, it's just a question of whether you pay a small markup or a big markup. Heck, it's not even unusual for one of two customers at the same dealership to pay thousands more for the exact same car on the same day.

Now please tell me how the dealership "competition" benefits the consumer? I would rather buy direct from the manufacturer at the price they set. That's real competition (if they want to sell their cars vs. the competition). The no dealership model is competing with the dealership model!
 
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#20
Tesla - The cars dealers don't want you to know about.
Yep. I’m in Texas and let me tell ya...

We recently had to fight our state legislature to remove language from a bill modification that the Texas Automobile Dealers Association had slipped in. It would have allowed TADA to sue Tesla to remove Service Centers that already exist. It appears we successfully beat back that threat for another two years.

The Tesla sales and service approach is a direct threat to their business model. The car itself is a threat because of its reduced service requirements.