Tesla challenges NJ regulation against direct sales
Tesla is challenging the recent decision by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission that bars OEMs from selling cars directly to consumers. The automaker said in a statement accompanying the Superior Court filing that New Jerseyês franchise law allows direct sales and that the commission had caved in to pressure from the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Teslaês statement used an argument the company has used before, that franchised dealers have a conflict of interest in selling electric cars when most of their revenue comes from gas-powered vehicles. In response, NJCAR President James Appleton pointed out that dealers in the state sell electric vehicles from 13 other automakers, the Star-Ledger reports.
Tesla wants total control over distribution to crush and eliminate competition, Appleton told the Star-Ledger. Franchises are intended to promote competition, which benefits the consumer.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace introduced a bill that would allow automakers to sell EVs directly to consumers. Eustaceês spokesman told Automotive News the bill would apply to any company that sells EVs. But NJCARês Appleton said he doesnêt believe legislators will want to compromise the stateês franchise laws whose purpose it is to promote the public interest, Automotive News reports.Download Bulletin PDF