March 14 Tesla Motors Inc is studying
"judicial remedies" to fight a New Jersey ruling approved this
week that bars the electric car maker from selling cars directly
to the public in the state.
In a sharply worded blog post on Friday, Chief Executive
Elon Musk fired back against the regulation change, approved by
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration, which
requires sales of all new cars to go through franchises.
"The rationale given for the regulation change that requires
auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures
'consumer protection,'" Musk wrote. "If you believe this, Gov.
Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you!"
Starting on April 1, all of Tesla's stores in the state will
convert to galleries, where potential customers can see the car
and ask questions. But staff will not be able to discuss price
or complete a sale of a car.
However, Musk said, New Jersey residents can still order the
Model S electric car online. They can also buy the car from
Tesla stores in New York and near Philadelphia.
"We are evaluating judicial remedies to correct the
situation," Musk said in the blog post.
Musk has said there is less incentive for auto dealers, who
own a variety of different car dealerships, to push electric
Tesla's strategy relies on being able to sell directly to
consumers. But earlier this week, New Jersey approved a rule
requiring sales of all new cars to go through franchises.