TO THE EDITOR:
Tesla's recent brush with a management buyout ("Musk blog post ends one Tesla drama, rekindles others," autonews.com, Aug. 26) reflects the challenges of becoming a volume manufacturer after years as a cash-strapped boutique auto company.
There is no doubt Tesla has disrupted the industry with revolutionary new products — the iPhones of cars — and manufacturing processes, but the company finds itself short for cash to pay for the volume growth needed to sustain its trajectory.
The missing piece of the puzzle is obvious: It desperately needs an independent dealer organization.
Dealers provide capital for distribution, freeing up company funds to pay for product development and increasing manufacturing capacity.
Management can concentrate on the manufacturing side of the business.
Dealers are the only way to create the demand and sales volume needed to move to the next level.
There is a reason why the most successful companies are those that focus on doing what they do best — producing the best vehicles — and letting dealers do what they do best — selling and servicing those vehicles.
JIM PRESS, President, RML Automotive Dallas. The writer is former president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., former senior managing director of Toyota Motor Corp. and former co-president of Chrysler Group.