Sales

The State of New Jersey Has Just Screwed Tesla

And it's not the first (or likely the last) state to make things difficult for the EV automaker.

By now most are familiar with Tesla’s dealership struggles in the US: it wants to directly sell its cars to customers instead of the traditional dealer model. The reason is that Tesla believes, for the moment at least, that its EVs are too complex for regular sales people to successfully sell. It wants to own and operate its own dealer network instead. Many US states, with extreme pressure coming from mega dealers and their lobbyists, are opposed to this setup, but Tesla is still fighting the status quo.

Texas has already outright banned Tesla sales, and now New Jersey has made a similar ruling. Thing is, Tesla had been previously working with that state’s government "to defend against the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers’ attacks on its business model and the rights of New Jersey consumers." Simply put, the automaker wanted the Administration of Governor Chris Christie "to help delay anti-Tesla regulation so that the matter could be handled through a fair process in the Legislature." Sounds fair enough and it would certainly become more of a public debate. You know, something called Democracy.

Things were moving forward in that direction until a couple of days ago when the Christie Administration opted to pass a rule that now makes it illegal for Tesla to sell its cars in the state. It's not illegal to own a Tesla in New Jersey, but interested buyers will have to shop over in neighboring New York. Looks like that New Jersey dealership lobby has greater influence than previously thought.

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