Consumers in New Jersey hoping to purchase Tesla’s electric cars directly from the company will have to go elsewhere, thanks to the new ruling passed by New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission. According to the ruling, Tesla is now prohibited from directly selling its cars to the public starting this April.
Tesla has deviated from the time honored tradition of using franchised auto dealers, choosing instead to sell their Model S line via retail stores owned by the company. New Jersey is following the footsteps of Arizona and Texas, both of which earlier banned Tesla from selling their cars directly to consumers. While New Jersey is not the first state to make this ruling, it is by far the company’s biggest loss, because New Jersey has a flourishing market for luxury vehicles.
.@GovChristie vowed to let legislative process work, but instead of sticking up for NJ consumers he's fast-tracking anti-Tesla regulation.— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) March 11, 2014
Obviously, Tesla is not too happy about this decision. The company has openly blasted the state governor Chris Christie on their blog, calling the move as deceitful. According to Tesla, Christie has agreed previously to postpone a pending amendment, one which would have made the process fairer on Tesla’s part. However, barely a day before the amendment’s hurried passing, the company discovered that the Christie administration had gone back on their word.
Related: Manufacturer News
Tesla added that the amendment destroys the most basic concepts that make up the “free market”. The company says their direct sale policy is not aimed at cutting out the middlemen, they just want to be behind the wheel completely during each purchase so they could educate their consumers properly on the benefits and responsibilities of having an electric car.
On his Twitter account, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also lashed out at the auto dealers who have openly lobbied against the company’s direct sales policy.
New Jersey auto dealers subverting democratic process to try to block Tesla sales http://t.co/PLY97W1oh0— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 11, 2014
And it’s not just Tesla; the Christie administration is getting a lot of flak for its decision from all sides. Silicon Valley investor Paul Graham says the move is a direct attack at innovation. He tweeted that the ruling is a clear indication of the corruption in state governments.