New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace debuted a proposal Thursday that would reverse a ban on auto manufacturers selling cars directly to consumers in the Garden State. The proposal would allow Tesla Motors to sell its luxury electric cars at up to four locations in New Jersey.
“As an electric car driver, I’m honored to be part of this effort to find solutions to keep a state-of-the-art product and the future of the auto manufacturing industry right here in New Jersey,” Eustace said in a statement announcing the proposal. “This legislation will incentivise entrepreneurship, create jobs, promote environmental protection and address the important concerns of consumers in our state.”
Last month, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission approved an amendment to its regulations for licensed car dealers that prevented auto manufacturers like Tesla from selling cars without using franchise dealerships. Tesla, which uses a direct sales model and has two stores in the state subsequently issued a series of statements blaming the ban on bad faith negotiating by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie and “attacks” from the car dealers’ lobby. Christie later insisted he had “no problem” with the company and would be “happy” to allow them in New Jersey if the Legislature passed a new law.
Greenwald and Eustace’s proposal aims to address concerns a Tesla’s model would disadvantage consumers as manufacturers are less inclined to honour service agreements by requiring companies that have licensed direct-sales locations to also operate at least one retail facility in the state for service.
Tesla’s direct-sales model has also faced bans in other states.
Tesla Motors Vice President for Regulatory Affairs James Chen issued a statement praising Greenwald and Eustace’s proposal for New Jersey.
“We are thrilled at leadership demonstrated by Majority Leader Greenwald and Assemblyman Eustace in getting this compromise solution developed and introduced,” Chen said. “Without the advocacy and hard-work of Majority Leader Greenwald and Assemblyman Eustace, this critical compromise would not have been achieved. We look forward to continuing our work with them and the rest of the NJ Legislature to pass this important bill.”
Christie’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the proposal from Business Insider Thursday.
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