New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Tesla Direct-Sales Bill

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Earlier this spring, Tesla ceased direct-sales at its two New Jersey showrooms due to enforcement of state law that prohibited such sales from auto manufacturers. That may soon change once a bill that would allow direct-sales to begin again comes to a vote before the New Jersey Assembly.

The Star-Ledger reports the bill — which would also allow Tesla to open two new stores — was drafted and passed by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee in a 4 to 0 vote. A3216 isn’t limited to the Californian EV automaker, however, as the bill’s language welcomes any ZEV manufacturer to sell directly to the public at as many as four stores, and requires all to have at least one service facility for the vehicles sold.

Though no one testified against the bill, both the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers wanted the status quo of franchise dealership sales maintained. AAM director of state affairs Amy Brink called for language to bring direct-sales to an end if a ZEV automaker is sold to another automaker, while NJCAR president Jim Appleton held out hope that Tesla would be forced to enter the franchise game once operations have fully ramped up.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

More by Cameron Aubernon

Join the conversation
  • That's one small step for Electric vehicles... giant leap for FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.

    • Stuki Stuki on Jun 09, 2014

      Funny kind of "free" anything, that stipulates only ZEVs, max "4 stores", etc., etc. Tesla, by being the current darling of the political / campaign donor classes, got of much more lightly here, than any comparable startup peddling wares to the less equal masses could ever have hoped for. One, at least if one is a basically decent human being, would hope others more focused on mainstream product would be able to use this bill, combined with common fairness, to further break down the protectionism aimed at nothing other than further enrich insiders at the expense of the public. But, given that we live in a progressive dystopia, and have suffered enough generations of comprehensive public indoctrination that most don't even recognize this is a bad thing, I have my doubts.

  • Morbo Morbo on Jun 09, 2014

    It's the great Garden State. Someone somewhere got their pockets greased. if I know my old stomping grounds, my guess is that high end malls like Short Hills or Bridgewater that want a Tesla store [s]bribed[/s][s] made campaign contributions to enough state senators to make it happen. or at least gave more than the dealership association.[/s]

    • Redav Redav on Jun 09, 2014

      Sure sounds like it. You know that even by permitting direct sales, by limiting the number of stores, they still want have control. Also, the dealer associations sound like mobsters trying to get a business to pay them 'protection' fees.