Cars

Tesla fights N.J. direct car sales ban in court appeal

Tesla seeks to be able to offer its electric cars in a new direct-sales format, instead of the traditional dealer model.
Tesla seeks to be able to offer its electric cars in a new direct-sales format, instead of the traditional dealer model.Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Tesla Motors appealed New Jersey’s ban on direct auto sales, arguing that the decision thwarts the carmaker’s mission of providing sustainable transportation and unfairly favors entrenched franchise dealers.

The action comes as Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and co-founder, fights with car dealer groups nationwide to let his Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of electric Model S sedans sell directly to consumers from company stores.

Tesla challenged a direct-sales ban imposed by a New Jersey commission in state Superior Court, according to documents made available by the company. The filing couldn’t immediately be verified in court records.

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