Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car maker that doesn’t have franchised retail dealers, may be forced to close its stores in New Jersey if the state changes rules for selling autos, Diarmuid O’Connell, the company’s vice president of business development, said on a conference call.
The automaker, based in Palo Alto, California, said it learned yesterday that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is reviewing a change today to block manufacturers from being licensed to sell cars directly in the state. This comes the same day Tesla is to meet in Ohio with officials to find a compromise that would let it keep selling its luxury electric cars there.
“Clearly, a decision was made rather abruptly and certainly without any consultation with us,” O’Connell said in the call on developments in New Jersey. “There are probably a couple levels of bad faith and surreptitious behavior.”