TO THE EDITOR:
Ford CEO Jim Farley appears to be spending too much time in the ivory tower and not enough in the field ("Ford wants its dealers to match Tesla's lower selling costs," autonews.com, Sept. 9).
Automakers must be transparent with their calculations if they're going to make claims that their current sales and distribution channels are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a car. And are they truly making fair comparisons to Tesla? Franchised dealers have spent billions of dollars to build, renovate and maintain their facilities (and will continue to do so). These expenditures are all being carried by Tesla corporate for their network.
Furthermore, Tesla has spent tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars for electrical charging infrastructure at their stores (and their Superchargers in public spaces) — a cost burden legacy automakers are pushing onto their dealership network. Additionally, if you look past Tesla's glitzy mall showrooms and visit the facilities where customers pick up their cars, return their leases and have their cars serviced, you will find that these places are dumps (at least here in the Greater Boston area). If Ford or any other automaker had a dealership in such a state, it would have initiated termination of the dealer long ago.
Lastly, Tesla pricing faces no competitive pressure within the brand. Once production on electric vehicles ramps up to traditional internal combustion engine volumes, consumers can be sure to benefit from discounts due to dealer competition.
FRANK HANENBERGER, Retailer principal, MetroWest Subaru, Brattleboro Subaru, Natick, Mass., and Brattleboro, Vt.