Is Tesla\’s retail road a dead end?


For all the trailblazing Tesla Motors has done in its relatively short life span, one trail will be very difficult for anyone else to follow: its retail model.

Though Tesla has been relatively successful in battling state legislatures, dealer groups and legacy automakers such as General Motors, the company’s approach of avoiding franchised dealers and selling directly to consumers is no more secure for other startups, or even Tesla itself.

In fact, the next company to try direct sales in the U.S. will face a much tougher fight thanks to the dust Tesla kicked up in its battles.

That potential list includes a wide range of companies, including French giant PSA — which is considering a return to U.S. sales after 2020 — upstarts such as Faraday Future, Atieva and Elio; and Chinese automakers eyeing the lucrative market.