Tesla Sales in New Jersey Legal Once More
A few months back, New Jersey effectively banned the sale of Tesla vehicles within the state after caving into pressure from a dealership-backed initiative. Friday brings good news for fans of green driving in the Garden State: Tesla is open for business in New Jersey once again.
After direct sales of Model S vehicles from Tesla’s Short Hills and Paramus were ceased, the New Jersey Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee voted 4-0 to approve bill A3216, which not only jumpstarts sales at the two pre-established locations but also maps out a plan to open two more stores.
The bill provides Tesla or any other direct-sales, zero-emissions vehicle manufacturer the ability to open up to four stores in New Jersey provided that they maintain at least one service facility.
“New Jersey prides itself as being pro-business, pro-innovative and pro-jobs. And this is a company that is an American company, an American idea,” said Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen), a sponsor of the bill. “I think we would be mistaken if we didn’t’ reverse the idea that the MVC made, making it illegal to sell Teslas in New Jersey.”
While no one stepped up against the legislation, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Director of State Affairs and Franchise Counsel Amy Brink called for amendments to protect dealership “status quo.”
New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers President Jim Appleton reasoned that Tesla should be required to conform to a franchise model that would require them to operate much in the same way that dealerships do.
State Senator Brian Rumpf also expressed concern over the long-term damage that Tesla could deal to the dealership model.
If Tesla holds to the tenants of its five year plan, which includes the introduction of two battery-manufacturing Gigaplants and a considerably more affordable $35,000 model, it is entirely likely that their status as a major player in the automotive sales world will skyrocket. However, where some see this as a threat to dealerships, it is arguably best viewed as beneficial to the consumer.
While the reinstatement of Tesla sales in New Jersey is a major victory for the company, they still likely have a long road in front of them in states that have already banned or are angling to ban the direct sales model.
Source: The New Jersey Star-Ledger