I think a different quote from the same article gets more to the heart of the issue: “They wanted to go direct, which means no sales force. That’s cutting out a lot of people. No way that’s gonna fly.”
No question, this kind of disruption has a negative impact on groups of people who have made their living as facilitators between producer and consumer, but it’s inevitable. Few people think twice these days about buying merchandise online, but lots of people have been losing jobs in warehouses and in retail as this trend has accelerated.
The amount of value a dealer adds to the car purchasing experience has been shrinking; if a given manufacturer wishes to continue with the dealer model, so be it, but there’s no reason a retailer like Tesla shouldn’t be able to sell direct to consumers.
Disruption is a byproduct of any kind of change, and provided there aren’t severe environmental and health impacts, fighting changes that make it easier for people to get goods and services more conveniently and at lower cost is both an abuse of power and futile.
There are similar forces at work in the world of American healthcare. For now, entrenched interests in the insurance industry have ensured that a variety of middlemen continue to take their cut, with little added value; however, with every chart showing how much more Americans pay per capita for healthcare than any other country, people are beginning to question why Americans get so little for their healthcare dollar.
Single payer will come— the writing’s on the wall, and so those who skim off the top are in a race to plunder as much as they can before the inevitable. In the meantime, you and I will continue to give the middlemen our money for nothing, just as we do when we buy a car.