The retail side of the dealer network is really just a front door to the service department. Electric cars are supposed to have fewer service requirements, so if Tesla cannot defeat the franschise system, they are kind of screwed, as franchises will have to make more money on retail.
That is a much better description. For example, Ford probably doesn't care if Tesla succeeds or fails. They are stuck with independent dealers currently and any attempt on their part to change that will start a "starve out" of their sales as most dealers have multiple dealerships and sell multiple brands.
If Tesla doesn't break the franchise system, then Ford is no worse off than it is now and Tesla is blocked. If Tesla does win, then Ford can start selling direct itself.