Tesla one step closer to being allowed back in New Jersey thanks to direct-sales bill
Tesla hasn't exactly gotten a warm welcome in New Jersey so far. Thanks to laws designed to protect auto dealers, they were basically kicked out of the state for reasons that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has compared to mafia practices:
The rationale given for the regulation change that requires auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures “consumer protection”. If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of “protection”, this is obviously untrue. As anyone who has been through the conventional auto dealer purchase process knows, consumer protection is pretty much the furthest thing from the typical car dealer’s mind.
At the time, New Jersey governor Chris Christie basically shrugged and said something to the effect of: "Well, that's what the law is, it's up to the legislature to change it".
This is what has started to happen. It took over a month after Tesla was forced to stop sales in the state, but the state Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee approved a bill (A3216) that would - if it becomes law - grant permission to Tesla to restart sales and open 2 more stores in the state, as well as be required to have at least 1 service facility (it's not clear why they try to micro-manage the number of stores and services points instead of just letting Tesla free to operate in the state as it sees fit, but at least it's progress).
“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, “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.”
The bill was unanimously approved in committee, but it still has to become law.