Tesla’s Iron Man Vs. New Jersey’s Iron Fist

Tesla says NJ Governor Christie has it in for them.

The electric car manufacturer sent an impassioned email to New Jersey residents today to fight a proposed rule change that would require all new-car dealers in the state to have franchise agreements and the ability to service cars on site. Tesla, which sells vehicles directly to consumers in malls such as the massive Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, and the upscale Mall at Short Hills does not have franchise agreements. The nearest Tesla service center for many NJ residents is in Queens.

The company plans to make its case before the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in Trenton at 2p.m. Cashtaggers took to the Web to voice their frustration at the proposed rule.

$TSLA Recall Gov. Christie!!!

— JW (@moneyrunner) Mar. 11 at 10:42 AM

The stock, which has fallen in the past several days, climbed this morning. Technical levels and hopes of additional news leaking out about Tesla’s planned Gigafactory battery manufacturing facility were more likely catalysts than the belief Tesla would have luck at the NJ DMV.

$TSLA Looking good on move back above the 10dma, support at last week's low so far, below that around the 21dma

— Michael Lamothe (@MichaelGLamothe) Mar. 11 at 11:11 AM

Tesla says the proposed rule could severely hamper its NJ business. In an email, the company wrote:
“Tesla is under attack in New Jersey. Yesterday we received word that Governor Christie’s administration has gone back on its word to delay a proposed anti-Tesla regulation so that the matter can be handled in the legislature. Rather than stick up for New Jersey consumers, the Administration and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission are thwarting the legislature at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers.”

Tesla went on to say that the rule would curtail its NJ operations in the state and jeopardize its existing retail stores.

Tesla also went to its blog to discuss the news. “We strongly believe it is vital to introduce our own vehicles to the market because electric cars are still a relatively new technology. The 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.”

Tesla plans to deliver 6400 vehicles in the first quarter. It’s not clear how many are scheduled for NJ.


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