Governor Chris Christie doing shady backroom deals? Favoring corporate lobbyists over New Jersey consumers? Who could possibly believe such a thing? /sarcasm
A new rule that effectively bans direct to consumer car sales was the result of a back room deal between the auto dealers' lobby and Gov. Chris Christie in order to preserve the dealers' monopoly on automobile sales, Tesla Motors' chairman said in a post to the company website today.
What's more, Tesla chairman Elon Musk said in the post, if you believe that the laws on the books protecting dealers are there for the good of the consumer, "Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you."
In his post, Musk said Christie had promised that allowing for direct sales to customers, which is Tesla's sales model, would be put to a vote by the legislature. However, the dealers were afraid of the outcome and so took their concerns to the administration.
"Governor Christie had promised that this would be put to a vote of the elected state legislature, which is the appropriate way to change the law," Musk said. "When it became apparent to the auto dealer lobby that this approach would not succeed, they cut a backroom deal with the Governor to circumvent the legislative process and pass a regulation that is fundamentally contrary to the intent of the law."
And throwing in a choice mafia reference for good measure.
The rationale given for the regulation change that requires auto companies to sell through dealers is that it ensures “consumer protection”. If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you! Unless they are referring to the mafia version of “protection”, this is obviously untrue. As anyone who has been through the conventional auto dealer purchase process knows, consumer protection is pretty much the furthest thing from the typical car dealer’s mind.