On Wednesday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie finally signed legislation providing Elon Musk and Tesla with the right to sell vehicles directly to owners inside of the Garden State. This legislation comes after a years-long battle that continually made New Jersey appear more like an old-school fascist empire than a modern American state.
Chris Christie, who has always halfway sidestepped the issue– never pushing hard for a change in the system, declared after signing the document, “I said last year that if the Legislature changed the law, I would sign new legislation put on my desk and that is exactly what I’m doing today. We’re pleased that manufacturers like Tesla will now have the opportunity to establish direct sales operations for consumers in a manner lawfully in New Jersey.”
No doubt, New Jersey dealerships are shaking in their boots over the decision, thinking that this might be a trend that other major automakers follow. I doubt that will happen, but if it did, would we really care? After all, dealerships are known for jacking up prices and only looking out for themselves.
According to reports, the new pro-free business bill will allow Tesla to operate up to four sales locations and must have a service center in New Jersey– which has already been established in Paramus.
For Musk, the decision comes after countless beratings of both Christie and the state of New Jersey. He’s even gone as far as to call them a Mafia-like organization.
Check out this Elon Musk blog post from just last year; “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! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of ‘protection,’ this is obviously untrue. As anyone who has been through the conventional auto dealer purchase process knows, consumer protection is pretty much the furthest thing from the typical car dealer’s mind.”
Thankfully, after wayyyyyyy too long, New Jersey has finally changed up their business blocking strategy. But that doesn’t mean Tesla still doesn’t have other hurdles around the country. In fact, Musk is currently in a deadlock with other states, including Texas, Arizona, Michigan, and Utah. Hopefully, in time, they will get off of their Stalin-esque high horse, too.