New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Reverses Garden State's Ban On Tesla Direct Sales
In a reversal certain to smooth out the hackles of all luxury electric car drivers, both current and aspiring, the state of New Jersey
passed a law yesterday allowing Tesla
Motors to resume operations and directly sell their automobiles to customers within the state. Governor Chris Christie
signed the bill, thus negating the New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission's demand on March 11 of last year to end direct sales to the public by Tesla, in accordance with laws then in place that required that car manufacturers sell their vehicles only through franchised dealerships. By that time, in the year leading up to the the NJMVC's call to halt direct sales by the electric car company, Tesla had sold some 600 of its Model S sedans by way of two stores they were operating in the state.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
triumphantly took to Twitter in response to the new law, tweeting "Thanks to everyone that supported Tesla in New Jersey! We couldn't have done it without you."
The reversal in New Jersey should assuage the vitriol that passed between Tesla and the Christie administration last year, which saw the car
company accuse the Governor's office of having "gone back on its word" and acting on behalf of "a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers." It may also have further reaching consequences in the three states in which Tesla has attempted to open stores but been rebuffed — Texas, Arizona, and Maryland — and also in a number of other states whose current laws also prohibit or severely restrict direct sales by car manufacturers (states in which Tesla operates "galleries" in lieu of actual stores).
Tesla issued an email statement following the signing of the new law, with company executive Diarmuid O'Connell saying "We are proud to tell New Jersey that we are open for business."
The new law in New Jersey requires Tesla to operate at least one service facility in the state, and requires that the company report sales figures to the state as well.