Tesla Motors Inc. will now be able to sell cars to New Jersey residents after the ban on selling vehicles outside of company-owned showrooms was lifted.
Governor Chris Christie signed a law that gives Tesla the go signal to open four dealerships of its own in addition to at least one service center.
Tesla celebrated the victory on Twitter.
A huge victory in New Jersey for consumer choice: We are open for business! @GovChristie
— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) March 18, 2015
Tesla had been fighting the ban imposed on them last year, which involved not being able to sell cars directly to customers. As a result, they hadn’t been selling any cars in New Jersey, and their showrooms were not able to offer test drives to customers.
Over 600 Model S sedans, the prices of which fall in the bracket of $70,000 to six figures, have been sold in New Jersey alone.
According to Bloomberg, the Palo Alto, influenced by the decision in New Jersey, has converted stores into galleries, referring prospective purchasers to stores in Pennsylvania and New York.
Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quoted on Tesla’s blog, saying, “This [sales] model is not just a matter of selling more cars and providing optimum consumer choice for Americans, but it is also about educating consumers about the benefits of going electric.”
He said that such education “is central to our mission to accelerate the shift to sustainable transportation, a new paradigm in automotive technology.”
However, Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automobile Retails, disagreed with Musk. In an interview with The Verge last year, he said, “If you’re an Internet billionaire, maybe you think the world revolves around you, and the world springs from your laptop.
“Well, I got news for him. This is not a new law, Tesla is operating illegally, and as of April 1st, they will be out of business unless they decide to open a franchise.”
The massive victory may have eased Tesla’s concern about their sales in New Jersey, but Virginia, Arizona, Texas and Michigan are still unaffected by the law.
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