Tesla Vacating New Jersey Market Amid Direct-Sales Ban
In the wake of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s decision to enact new rules banning direct sales of vehicles by automakers, Tesla may have no other recourse than to vacate the local market come April 1.
Automotive News reports Governor Chris Christie’s administration faces accusations by Tesla from the decision, stating the automaker and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers both agreed they would “address their issues in a more public forum: the New Jersey Legislature.”
In turn, the governor’s office responded by reminding Tesla that in order to conduct their brand of selling in New Jersey, the automaker “would need to engage the Legislation” in drafting a bill that would allow for direct sales.
Begging to differ, Tesla vice president of business development Diarmuid O’Connell explained his employer’s standpoint:
The statute in New Jersey plainly allows Tesla to be licensed to sell cars there. Indeed, the Motor Vehicle Commission has licensed Tesla under that statute ever since October 2012, and any suggestion that Tesla was told “since the beginning” about any problem with its ability to be licensed there is false. The only thing that has changed is the Christie Administration’s sudden decision to go around the Legislature in an attempt to enact a rule that the statute doesn’t permit. Worse, it has done so without any reasonable notice or even a public hearing.
NJ CAR president Jim Appleton, however, believes the commission is doing what is mandated in the enforcement of the statute. He doesn’t want to see the automaker leave the state, only wanting to help Tesla “operate in a manner consistent with the law.”
The commission’s decision places New Jersey on a list of states barring direct sales, including Arizona, Ohio and Texas.
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