For the auto dealer, New Jersey’s denial of the Tesla dealer model is very short sighted. It is not about enabling a fair competitive playing field. The decision to regulate is an example of domestic job protectionism.
Just step back and think about how Henry Ford came up with the Model T. People were traveling New Jersey’s roads by horse and buggy, foot or bicycle. The process would still be here today if yesterday’s ruling were applied then. It was product innovation that changed America. It was an interesting and effective way to travel that quickly transformed initially America and subsequently the global transportation system. Had regulators prevented the formation of Ford’s manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, horse and buggy navigation systems would be in demand today – as well as land for stables along the Hudson or Delaware.
Yet consumers have been driving the model at Tesla. Sure Tesla, like GM, had bailout funds. And it is without question that Tesla’s capital intensive models would not be possible without some level of government support. When auto dealers, like book stores, galleries, shoe stores, and other retail oriented businesses have to rely on the internet for a sale, it is foolish to cap the state’s potential with “standards” that are far from competitive.
New Jersey is not interested in Free Market Capitalism. Nor is it a free-for-all in the industry. What New Jersey’s decision shows is the government and its bureaucracy can not plan for the advances in technology and consumer buying preferences.