Tesla Appeals NJ Franchise Statute, May Win Via Legislation

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Months after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission forced Tesla to stop directly selling its vehicles to the public, the automaker’s appeal moves closer to its day in court.

Automotive News reports the appeal, made in March of 2014, proclaims that Tesla has a right to sell its cars with its business model, as the state’s franchise statute does not apply to the automaker — no franchise agreements were ever made — the MVC overstepped its bounds by enforcing the statute, and the statute itself violates the state’s constitution in part.

That said, the case may not need to see the light of day, as two bills in the state senate would allow Tesla to continue doing business its way, with some limits. The first would give the automaker four stores to itself — two of which are already in operation — with any more to be franchised. Two service facilities would also be required of Tesla were the bill to pass. The second bill would update the franchise statute.

Both bills are expected to be voted upon by late September at the earliest.

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.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 19, 2014

    New Jersey will take a lesson from Texas and decide that it's better to play ball with Tesla, but they'll have to appease the dealers who have the politicians in their pocket.

  • Redliner Redliner on Sep 19, 2014

    Since when is it okay for government to dictate (by law) to a private company that sells consumer goods how many stores it can open and how it must serve its customers? NJ state just needs to MYOB... oh wait, that IS their business.

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 19, 2014

    Regardless of the ultimate fate of Tesla and Mr. Musk, this is one area I am rooting for them.

  • Mcs Mcs on Sep 19, 2014

    In Massachusetts, the dealer's lawsuit here was recently tossed out due to lack of standing. Basically, the laws were put in place to protect them from the manufacturer they're associated with, not a new manufacturer they have no business relationship with.