New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assemblyman Timothy Eustace unveiled plans Thursday for new legislation that would strengthen the automobile market, promote innovation and keep Tesla in operation in New Jersey.
James Chen, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at Tesla Motors joined Greenwald and Eustace to announce support for the compromise legislation, which will reverse a March decision by the Motor Vehicle decision limiting Tesla’s ability to compete in the New Jersey market.
“Tesla is an innovative company that has produced a top-rated, environmentally conscious product,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “Their commitment to innovation, job-creation and customer satisfaction is precisely the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we should be encouraging in New Jersey. Unfortunately, the Motor Vehicle Commission’s decision threatened to hamstring those efforts.”
Added Greenwald, “That is why we have come together around a compromise solution—which will strengthen our auto industry, promote innovation, and keep Tesla in our state. This bill is a win-win for New Jersey consumers.”
“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,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This legislation will incentivize entrepreneurship, create jobs, promote environmental protection and address the important concerns of consumers in our state.”
Under the legislation, Tesla will be allowed to sell directly to consumers at up to four licensed locations in New Jersey. Manufacturers engaging in direct sales would also be required to operate at least one retail facility in the state for vehicle service, thus addressing public safety and consumer protection concerns.
“We are thrilled at leadership demonstrated by Majority Leader Greenwald and Assemblyman Eustace in getting this compromise solution developed and introduced," said Chen. “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.”
As a result of MVC's recent regulatory action, current law provides that automobiles must be sold through franchises.