New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission votes against Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) direct sales

Posted Mar 12, 2014

New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission made a vote on Tuesday that blocks automakers like Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) from selling cars directly to consumers without going through a dealer. Tesla Motors uses showrooms for consumers to come in and customize vehicles electronically before making a direct sales order.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) attempted to pressure the commission not to block direct sales in New Jersey and apparently New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had “gone back on its word” to delay the new regulation in order to allow a “fair process.”

Here is what Tesla Motors wrote in a blog post:
“We are disappointed in the actions of the NJMVC and the Christie Administration, which come on the heels of more than nine months of unexplained delays in the issuing of a new sales license for Tesla, despite our numerous requests, calls, and letters. In addition, the NJMVC has also delayed the annual renewal of Tesla?s current dealer licenses without indication of the cause of the delay. The delays have handicapped Tesla in New Jersey, where, without clear licensing procedures and fair enforcement of existing law, we have been forced to delay our growth plans. This is an issue that affects not just Tesla customers, but also New Jersey citizens at large, because Tesla would be unable to create new jobs or participate in New Jersey?s economic revival.”

New Jersey is the third state to block the direct sales model after Texas and Arizona.