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Five day ago, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was quoted saying: “We need to talk about the fact that we are for a free-market society that allows your effort and ingenuity to determine your success, not the cold, hard hand of the government.”
On Tuesday, his state’s Motor Vehicle Commission, with the backing of the Christie administration, effectively blocked Tesla from selling its electric vehicles directly in the Garden State.
It’s a rule that only an auto dealer can love, effectively requiring a middleman be inserted into the sales process. Tuesday’s vote was the latest skirmish in a series of state battles between auto dealer trade groups and the electric car manufacturer, with varying results.
A spokeswoman for the Motor Vehicle Commission confirmed the rule passed and will go into effect in April. A question about the public policy rationale was referred to Gov. Christie’s office, which still hasn’t responded to a Re/code inquiry from this morning. We’ll update this post if we hear back from them or from Tesla.
For more background, see our story from earlier today here.