Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) may soon be able to sell vehicles through company-owned stores in NJ

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Great news for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)! Tesla Motors may soon be able to sell vehicles through company-owned stores in N.J. after the state?s General Assembly passed a bill to allow up to 4 stores for the electric vehicle company.

In April, Tesla Motors was forced to turn two of its New Jersey stores into galleries where a car could be shown to customers, but selling activity was prohibited. This took place after the Motor Vehicle Commission revoked Tesla’s dealer license.

Currently, the state law requires that retailers be independent from the manufacturer. The bill still has to be passed by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Chris Christie.

?As an electric car driver, I?m honored to be part of this effort to find solutions to keep a state-of-the-art product and the future of the auto manufacturing industry right here in New Jersey,? stated Rep. Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). ?This legislation will incentivize entrepreneurship, create jobs, promote environmental protection and address the important concerns of consumers in our state.?

Tesla Motors and New Jersey have been in a dispute ever since Tesla was forced to stop selling its vehicles in the state because of the laws preventing it from bypassing dealerships. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk wrote a blog post in March that strongly criticized Governor Chris Christie. Musk referred to the New Jersey government as being in cahoots with the dealership association and made a jab at Governor Christie about the George Washington bridge closure.

?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!? wrote Musk in the blog post. ?Unless they are referring to the mafia version of ?protection?, this is obviously untrue.?

Here is a statement that Tesla sent out on Tuesday about the developments in New Jersey.

?Tesla is pleased that the New Jersey State Assembly has sent an overwhelming message of support for consumer freedom of choice and passed a bill that would once again allow the company to sell cars directly to consumers in the state? We look forward to working with state Senators to pass the bill through their chamber and send it to the Governor for his signature.?