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Tesla electric car company gets short reprieve from Christie administration

With days to go before it was to be barred from selling cars in New Jersey directly to consumers, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has given Tesla a short reprieve.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will allow the electric car manufacturer to keep selling vehicles at its two New Jersey showrooms until April 15th, it announced today.

“The MVC this week sent out letters to all new car dealers,” commission spokeswoman Elyse Coffey said. “The letter explains that dealers who sell new cars are being given until April 15th to comply with MVC dealer licensing regulations that require the submission of a copy of their franchise agreement.”

Coffey declined to comment further. A spokeswoman for Tesla did not respond to an email seeking comment.

On March 11, the commission – made up of Christie cabinet officials and appointees – unanimously passed a rule to take effect on April 1 that would require the company to sell its cars through dealers, which is contrary to its sales model.

The ruling drew outrage from Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, as well as Democrats and environmentalists.
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