Tesla said on Tuesday the administration was undermining its model
of selling cars, while the administration says Tesla has long known
the company needed a law change to accommodate its sales model.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission introduced a rule in October
that made explicit the need to have a franchise license to sell cars
in the state, and that rule was due to be approved on Tuesday.
Most traditional auto companies sell cars through franchised
In a blog posting on the company's website, Tesla said the
governor's office "has gone back on its word" to delay the proposed
"anti-Tesla" regulation so that it would be taken up by the state's
Tesla, which currently has two stores in New Jersey, said the
regulation would effectively force it to stop sales from those
stores and prevent the company from opening further outlets in the
"Having previously issued two dealer licenses to Tesla, this
regulation would be a complete reversal to the long-standing
position of (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission) on Tesla's
stores," Tesla said on its blog.
In response, Kevin Roberts, a spokesman in the governor's office,
said since Tesla began operating a year ago in New Jersey, "it was
made clear that the company would need to engage the Legislature on
a bill to establish their new direct-sales operations under New
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"This administration does not find it appropriate to unilaterally
change the way cars are sold in New Jersey without legislation and
Tesla has been aware of this position since the beginning," Roberts
said in an emailed statement.
New Jersey would effectively be the third state to bar Tesla from
selling its cars directly, along with Arizona and Texas, according
Tesla shares were down 0.3 percent at $238.02 in afternoon trading
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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