Why do car manufacturers not sell directly to the public

I also heard that with premium Mercedes via the dealer the buyer (via the dealership) would be flown to the factory in Germany when his cars engine block was being forged. Not sure if this isjust an urban myth.

The problem with this is that the company tends to only pay for a certain class of rental cars, which are unlikely to be the class of car that I would ever consider purchasing. In the USA, at least, we have this ridiculous rental car trends where shitty econoboxes are considered “midsize,” and consequently it’s common to end up in something like a Toyota Corolla.

The company is me except when my client insists in paying for it directly, so I’m golden :slight_smile: Plus, a Corolla is already about two car sizes bigger than what I’m interested in when I travel by myself.
Usually :frowning: For some reason every time it’s the client who pays they insist on Hertz and Hertz insists in giving me an upgrade. Call me weird but if I ask for something “Yaris hutchback or similar” I don’t really want a Qashqai. Last time I was in the US I got an upgrade that was pretty cool due to my initial sedan having a booboo: I got some sort of Caddy. But that landbarge can’t even be purchased in Spain unless you import it individually, and anyway it wouldn’t fit into my street.

Why wouldn’t the Fed law be supreme as it falls under the ICC?

Which federal law? One might be passed someday but I don’t think anything exists now to address this.

Then it would fall under the same paradigm as railroad rules*. If it is under Federal jurisdiction and they choose not to make up laws for a certain situation the States cannot make laws regulating the activity.

Reference to a previous thread about trains blocking traffic.

I guess I didn’t mean the size of the car per se, because there are definite cultural differences. When you get a subcompact (labelled midsize) in the USA, its chief attribute is that it’s cheap. In this market, people who buy Corollas, for example, buy them because they’re cheap, and don’t spruce them up with optional features that inflate the price, if they’re even available. I’d wanted a Fiesta several years back, when it finally arrived in our market. However, aside from power windows, it was very downmarket, without any of the features one could get in, say, a Fusion/Modeo. Certainly, there are austere versions of the Fusion available, but their take rate was about 5% (mostly fleets). (These days, lowest-end vehicles made by my company aren’t even available to the general public, and must be ordered from fleet sales.)

You can do this with a Chevrolet Corvette; my father-in-law picked his up from the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky a few years ago. The package also can include a factory tour, but, as with the Mercedes example, you still have to make the purchase through a dealer.

I don’t know about mainland Europe, but in the UK a large number of dealers are manufacturer-owned. For example, the Rootes Group was a dealership chain before it bought up Hillman, Humber and other manufacturers and started building its own cars. The Rootes dealership network lives on as Robin & Day which is wholly owned by PSA (Peugeot/Citroen). Ford of Europe also owns a number of UK Ford dealerships, primarily in the south.

As far as I can tell, the prevalence of private dealerships in the UK has something to do with English and Welsh usury or finance laws; it seems as though manufacturers were prohibited from offering financing direct to the public, so it was more profitable to sell to third parties who could. I can’t find a direct citation for that though.

It probably also has something to do with coachbuilding; until the 1930s, even low-end vehicles were often built as rolling chassis, and coachbuilders (who also functioned as dealers) would attach bodies and interiors to customers’ tastes.

Why would the federal government care about car sales directly to consumers? With trains I can see the interstate commerce and general infrastructure interest, but there would need to be a reason for the federal government to assert control over car sales.

Because a car sale that crosses state line falls under ICC where the Feds reign supreme.

The US is such a large country that the logistics of selling and delivering a car to many markets would seem complex to me.

Tesla only has showrooms in select well to do markets. If you like in Podunk, Kentucky and really want one you’ll have to drive several hundred miles to test drive it.
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Pretty much the sale of everything in the US can cross state lines.

But again, why does the federal government care about direct car sales to consumers? Why would they take a stance either way? And what makes you think they would come down any differently than the 50 state legislatures already have?