Tesla, New Jersey at Odds Over Car sales

Jersey rule: Cars must be sold through local dealerships

CNNMoney reports that electric car-maker Tesla is lashing out at the Chris Christie administration, which is backing a proposal that cars must be sold through dealerships. Tesla prefers to sell direct to car-buyers.

But the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is considering a proposal at a meeting in Trenton on Tuesday that would block automakers from selling to consumers.

“This is an affront to the very concept of a free market,” Tesla Motors said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Christie has the support of Jim Appleton, who is president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, also known as NJ Car. Appleton said that Tesla never should have been approved to sell cars directly in New Jersey in the first place.

Appleton explained that dealers protect consumers because “an auto manufacturer is congenitally incapable of fully and faithfully honoring warranty and safety recall obligations.”

 NJ.com reports the “anti-Tesla” resolution did pass.

What’s more said NJCAR President Jim Appleton, Tesla’s approach is not innovative, but rather, by cutting out the dealer hurts the consumer.

The independent system of franchisees that operates in New Jersey promotes price competition because a manufacturer doesn’t control distribution and prices, Appleton said. “It also promotes greater access to warranty claims and safety recall service, which are both something manufacturers hate.”