TIME Automotives

Tesla Slams N.J. Ban on Direct Car Sales

Elon Musk at the Tesla store at Westfield Stratford City retail complex in London, Oct. 24, 2013.
Elon Musk at the Tesla store at Westfield Stratford City retail complex in London, Oct. 24, 2013. Simon Dawson—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Elon Musk's electric car company is criticizing Gov. Chris Christie's administration and the state's motor vehicle commission for blocking automakers from selling cars directly to customers as Tesla does to cut down on costs to consumers

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration and the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission for blocking auto companies from selling cars directly to consumers Thursday. As a result of the new rule passed earlier in the day, New Jersey residents will likely have to go out of state if they want to purchase a Tesla vehicle, unless the electric car maker changes to a dealership sales model.

“The Administration and the NJMVC are thwarting the Legislature and going beyond their authority to implement the state’s laws at the behest of a special interest group looking to protect its monopoly at the expense of New Jersey consumers,” the company said in a press release. “This is an affront to the very concept of a free market.”

Tesla sells cars directly to customers through retail locations it owns, whereas most car manufacturers rely on third party dealerships for sales. New Jersey is the third state to ban the direct car sales, according to TechCrunch. Texas and Arizona also ban the practice.

The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, a car dealership advocacy group, supported the rule change.

Shares in the company slipped 1.85 percent during regular trading.

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