Tesla CEO, Elon Musk took to his blog to protest the ban on the sale of Tesla’s electric cars in the state of New Jersey starting on April 1st, 2014. Calling foul on the New Jersey Automobile lobby, Musk declared,
“Under pressure from the New Jersey auto dealer lobby to protect its monopoly, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, composed of political appointees of the Governor, ended your right to purchase vehicles at a manufacturer store within the state. Governor Christie had promised that this would be put to a vote of the elected state legislature, which is the appropriate way to change the law. When it became apparent to the auto dealer lobby that this approach would not succeed, they cut a backroom deal with the Governor to circumvent the legislative process and pass a regulation that is fundamentally contrary to the intent of the law.”
All the ruckus is due to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission which was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie, blocked Tesla from selling cars through its own retailers, rather than through car dealers like other automotive manufactures. For now, New Jersey residents who fancy Tesla’s brand of electric vehicles will have to visit neighboring states New York or Pennsylvania.
In his blog post Musk explained that the reason saying,
“When Tesla came along as a new company with no existing franchisees, the auto dealers, who possess vastly more resources and influence than Tesla, nonetheless sought to force us to sell through them. The reason that we did not choose to do this is that the auto dealers have a fundamental conflict of interest between promoting gasoline cars, which constitute virtually all of their revenue, and electric cars, which constitute virtually none.”
Musk also claims that dealers rely on servicing cars as a profit center, a problem Tesla doesn’t have, because the have no oil, no spark plugs, no tune ups etc. Furthermore Musk gets buck and slams New Jersey’s claim that consumer protection was the justification for it’s decision to suspend Tesla ability to sell cars saying, “If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you!”
To justify his stance for going at it alone without a dealer to be the middle man, Elon Musk contends,
“The evidence is clear: when has an American startup auto company ever succeeded by selling through auto dealers? The last successful American car company was Chrysler, which was founded almost a century ago, and even they went bankrupt a few years ago, along with General Motors. Since the founding of Chrysler, there have been dozens of failures, Tucker and DeLorean being simply the most well-known. In recent years, electric car startups, such as Fisker, Coda, and many others, attempted to use auto dealers and all failed.”
In spite of the ban, which begins April 1st, 2014, Musk reminds consumers that Tesla would still be available to order from New Jersey for delivery on TeslaMotors.com and ensures they are evaluating judicial remedies to correct the situation. If you believe that your right to buy direct at a Tesla store should be restored, please contact your NJ state senator & assemblyman: www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/districtnumbers.asp.