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Science


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.



5 comments
jebworks
jebworks

Another case of entrenched interests supported by their lobbyists in government working against the consumer's interest. Stinks to high heaven! What's the argument against direct sale? Don't give that a middle man is there to protect the innocent from some shady online car seller. We're talking about a high sticker price vehicle sold to knowledgable potential customers by the manufacturer and not some guy in a back lot. 

Rob Sobers
Rob Sobers

Tesla has a showroom at Short Hills mall in NJ. You can go in, check it out, test drive the car, and then order online. While it's really telling about NJ's government, I don't think it'll impact Tesla or its customers.


Also, I love how the article title reads "New Jersey Votes", as if the citizens got a vote in the matter.

Mcbeese
Mcbeese

This is so corrupt and anti-free market.  It makes me so angry!  Why do I not hear loud Republican 'pro business' champions objecting to this anti-competitive legislation?  I guess it's because they're all bought and paid for.  D@mn hypocrites.  


Where are the consumers who feel that the dealers are doing a good job and protecting their interests?  Does such a consumer exist?  I'd love to hear from even one!  Everyone I know hates dealing with car dealers, whether it be for sales or service.  Everyone feels like they're being ripped off left and right.  


Conversely, I know MANY people who would welcome factory dealerships that leverage online sales innovations the way that Tesla is.  


Hang in there Tesla, water runs downhill and eventually makes it no matter how many obstacles are in the way.

RWC
RWC

Remember, it is illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey. Why would you ever think you should be able to buy a car on-line??

krkeegan
krkeegan

Christie is all for free market capitalism, until it starts to interfere with his campaign contributions.

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