Tesla’s Latest Spat: New Jersey Expedites Dealer Protection Legislation Vote

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“We are disappointed in the actions of the [New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission] 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,” Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) said in a statement released Tuesday on its website upon receiving word that the administration of Gov. Chris Christie rolled back its decision to delay a proposed anti-Tesla bill that’s backed by none other than the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.

Tesla’s spat in New Jersey is by no means unfamiliar territory for the company, which has waged legal battles in several states over its unique business model that involves selling its vehicles directly to consumers and bypassing the conventional dealer format. Naturally, dealers are quite displeased, and groups like NJCAR have spent millions on efforts to put legislative restrictions on the company and prevent Tesla from selling its vehicles in various states.

“The Administration has decided to go outside the legislative process by expediting a rule proposal that would completely change the law in New Jersey,” Tesla said. “This new rule, if adopted, would curtail Tesla’s sales operations and jeopardize our existing retail licenses in the state. ”

Ohio, New York, Texas, and others have seen similar legal appeals, and Tesla’s record with them is fairly mixed. In New Jersey, the fight surrounds Proposal PRN 2013-138, which would put restrictive mechanisms in place “that would, among other things, require all new motor vehicles to be sold through middlemen and block Tesla’s direct sales model,” the company said.

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