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Tesla Motors' Los Angeles store

The upcoming "Model S"

The Tesla Roadster
As GM and Chrysler close dealerships, Tesla seeks to expand into new regional markets

Almost all car manufacturers have been affected by the global recession, but Tesla Motors is sticking to its expansion plans. The innovative electric car manufacturer plans to open seven new stores this summer which will expand its sales into new regional areas. Unlike most companies which have a dealership network, Tesla will own all of its sales and service centers, enabling strong price and service control.

Tesla currently has two stores open; one in Silicon Valley and another in west Los Angeles. The first new stores will open in New York City, Seattle, and Chicago. It is not a coincidence that these are major metropolitan areas with strong environmental movements. Tesla's NYC store will be located in the trendy Chelsea Art District of Manhattan, while Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood (heavily invested in by Microsoft's Paul Allen and his Vulcan Real Estate arm) and Chicago's West Town will host the new stores.

These first five stores are located in states that either have sales tax exemptions on hybrids and electric vehicles or are considering legislation authorizing them. For example, Washington state has a sales tax exemption all battery-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These incentives are on top of a $7,500 US Federal Tax Credit, which fully applies to all Tesla vehicles.

International expansion will come with a new store in London, England, followed by stores in Munich, Germany, and the Principality of Monaco. The Monaco store will also target customers in nearby France, Switzerland, and Italy. Potential customers from the nearby Czech Republic and Austria may also seek out the Munich store. The city of London is an obvious choice for a store due to its congestion charge, a fee based system to raise funds from drivers for its massive transportation infrastructure. Hybrid and electric vehicles are required to register, but are given a 100% discount. Tesla's first European deliveries are scheduled for this summer as well.

A Miami store will open later this summer to serve customers in Florida. Tesla is considering locations for its first Canadian store in Toronto, as well as possible sites for a store in Washington, D.C. Other locations will follow to serve other major metropolitan markets.

Tesla Motors has conducted research into retail design, and claims to have taken "showroom cues from Apple, Starbucks and other customer-focused retailers". All of their stores feature computers with free Internet access to while away time during maintenance, which is brief due to the simplified design of its electric architecture. Most maintenance is spent on brake inspections, although the occasional recall and powertrain upgrade will take longer.

"We are rethinking almost every aspect of the automobile - from the powertrain to
the customer experience, both online and in our stores," said Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO.

The stores might be a little bare since more than 500 customers are still waiting for their own Tesla Roadster, the company's sole production vehicle. The Roadsters currently in stores are mostly prototype and engineering validation vehicles. Tesla is delivering 20 to 25 new Roadsters per week, after being assembled by Lotus in Hethel, England and finished in California. It recently delivered its 500th Roadster to Martin Tuchman, a New Jersey philanthropist who plans to charge his Roadster partly with solar energy thanks to photovoltaic panels he helped install throughout his hometown of Kingston, New Jersey.

Besides Tesla's Roadsters, the new stores will also sell and service the company's new Model S electric sports sedans when they enter production. More than 1,200 deposits have been placed for the Model S sedan, which will cost around $50,000 with the U.S. Federal Tax Credit.

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By martinrichards23 on 6/9/2009 9:51:21 AM , Rating: 2

I didn't realise government regulations made GM oversupply SUVs and other large vehicles when smaller (i.e. normal size, not actually small) cars were coming back into fashion.

If you want to moan about the government, then moan about them giving car companies billions more dollars to piss away.

By mdogs444 on 6/9/09, Rating: 0
By MrPoletski on 6/10/2009 10:52:35 AM , Rating: 1
The reason that the motor industry all but collapsed completely was nothing to do with housing regulations (which in turn did not cause any recession, that's right wing talking point cut and paste right there).

The reason it collapsed was because the housing bubble raped banks sideways. It was the banks own fault for risky behaviour made possible by the laxing of regulations (specifically the blurring of the disctinction between a real bank and an investment bank).

Anyway, this banking collapse made banks VERY reluctant to loan out any money. Many businesses folded because they could not make payroll because banks would not loan them the money to do so - despite them often having guarantees of paying this money back in the short term.

Likewise, people could not get a loan out to buy their car.

Most people who buy new cars buy them on credit. When there is no credit, these people do not buy new cars. This isn't the ONLY reason GM and the like collapsed but it is the most significant IMHO.

If it really was the fault of unions and the government interfering with regulations and taxbreaks that they couldn't claim then why didn't this happen earlier huh? Bush came in and did anything but power up the unions and such and for 7 years the industry appeared fine. It happened before Obama came in too so you can't blame him either.

Smaller cars came back into fashion because they are CHEAPER (to buy and run) and Joe Public was/is really feeling the pinch from increased fuel prices, increased energy utility prices, increased food prices and.. well general inflation really. Naturally this means the median vehicle sale price is going to drop because on average people can afford less. Add to that the fact it became very difficult to obtain credit to buy a car and your upper price bracket vehicles sell even less.

Drilling your own oil off your coast (aka Mccains promise)will achieve nothing for the next ten years and screw up your shipping routes. Total ignorance to suggest denying that caused anything bad.

You really need to stay away from the dreamland left talking points about gas guzzlers and whatnot being the problem. Simple economics and statistics prove it to be not true.

Gas guzzlers guzzle gas, last time I checked. In times of record high gas prices you'd be an idiot to buy into a car that guzzles it over one that doesn't. Can you argue with that logic? you can't, there may be other reasons for/against an SUV but 11 mpg is a definite AGAINST. Add to that the bringing to light of an SUV's crash safety add it's no wonder demand for them FELL, considerably.

Read this:

Ford, the only company not to receive government bailouts is the one that changed out SUV production for smaller car production when the recession bit.

I drive a ford Focus (1.8TDi) and it rocks. It's also probably a hell of a lot safer to be in, should you crash, than an SUV.

By rudy on 6/9/2009 10:29:32 AM , Rating: 5
The government put in CAFE regulations in the 70s this caused the car makers to look for a way to deliver customers a nice big powerful sedan they wanted but no solution could be found. What they did figure out is that if they took a truck frame and added a more polished full body they could classify it as a light work truck get past CAFE regulations and deliver a product people wanted at a good profit margin. And so yes the government did force GM to oversupply SUVs that people wanted. Then they created the housing bubble as mentioned above.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 6/9/09, Rating: 0
By mdogs444 on 6/9/2009 12:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
You're still overlooking the fact that GM lost market share to Toyota trucks and foreign and Ford SUV's in the late 90's and early 2000's because it didn't deliver them

I'm not sure where you've been, but Chevy full size trucks and suv's like the Blazer and Suburban were the only ones of their kind in the market for quite a while. So when other brand start releasing those types of vehicles at competitive, if not lower prices, then the market starts to spread out naturally. That's why its called a market.

In fact, you could say that GM was delivering on EXACTLY what everyone wanted - which forced other automakers to follow suit with the SUV's.

There is something wrong with you if you are expecting one company, like GM, to produce the #1 car/truck that people want in every single category and always be top in sales when the market has been expanding with more and more models and brands.
GM still believes it IS the US economy

Um no. However, the government does believe that, and especially the unions when they start crying about how many union jobs will be lost by GM and their suppliers.
And the government giving them cash in equity ownership puts the US tax payer in a worse position than if it had been an unsecured creditor

First off, ANYTHING the government spends money on puts the tax payer in a worse position down the security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, etc. The list goes on and on. There are two major differences between what happened 8 months ago and what happened just in the past months....we loaned money to GM (which most citizens were against, but goverment did it anyway), then Obama came in and essentially nationalized it to pay back the unions. If you look at Obama's illegal deal with Chrysler, you'll noticed the unsecured creditors (unions) fared 10x better than the secured creditors...wonder why that is?
since if the company goes under, the government is last in line to get paid

You're a fool if you think the initial loans would have ever been paid back in the first place. By they way, they were bailouts, not loans, if you want to get technical. Loans are only considered loans when the person giving the money actually believes he will be repaid.
This secured everyone else's debt instruments. How is that commie?

Commie? Obama's policies, just about all of them so far in terms of the economy and his leaning towards one group over another (unions) are showing who the true commie just might be.

By Samus on 6/10/2009 5:40:56 AM , Rating: 1
mdogs444, Ford had the best selling truck in the USA for over 20 years. The F150.

And you say GM 'pioneered' smaller SUV's before Ford? The Ford Bronco came out a decade before GM had the Jimmy or Blazer. The Bronco II had this market segment on lockdown all through the late 80's until the Explorer took the whole 'compact SUV' game to the next level as being possibly the most famous truck in history (partially due to the Firestone tire fiasco where Ford was putting 25PSI into defective tires)

Ford was the largest auto manucturer in the world until two things happened:

1. Jack Nasser drove the company into the ground starting in the mid-90's when he ruined Fords' best selling car, the Taurus. Then shortly after the aformentioned Firestone publicity, also under his umbrella.

2. GM went on a buying spree. Unlike Ford, who purchased intelligently along the lines of Jaguar, Land Rover and shares of Mazda (probably one of the best collaborative ventures in automotive history) GM purchased Saab, shares of Subaru, Voxhaul (probably their only good purchase, but it took them 10 years to get around to sharing the platforms) and Opel. Saab and Opel have cost GM billions in losses, and they practically destroyed both companies 'originality' in the process. Saab's dont even have a ignition key in the center console anymore. That shit was what made them special. Now Saab's are just Subaru's.

Anyway, GM has been a clusterfuck for the past 20 years. They've forced complete shit down everyones throat, much like Ford did in the 70's, but the difference is Ford was able to recover with quality vehicles starting in the mid-80's with the Taurus, Escort and Explorer, where as GM just recently, as in a few years ago, started offering decent vehicles. If it didn't take them 20 years to get their shit straight, maybe they wouldn't fucking bankrupt.

By MrPoletski on 6/10/2009 11:22:12 AM , Rating: 1
ok, genius.

Why is GM filing for bankruptcy after large loans to save it but Ford hasn't needed a single hand out and is doing fine?

Both subject to the same rules regulations and everything.

One lives, one dies.

Maybe one of them was doing something wrong?

Commie? Obama's policies, just about all of them so far in terms of the economy and his leaning towards one group over another (unions) are showing who the true commie just might be.

Calling Obama a communist is a GOD DAMN INSULT to the millions of people who have died because of communism and their corrupt leaders in this world.

Forget about the holocaust, that only killed 6 million Jews (and about 5-11 million others). Stalin alone caused the death of between 18 and 35 million people, that's 3-6x as many. We don't remember those deaths though, for some reason.

Communism is the abolishment of the concept of private property. You own nothing, the state owns everything.

Leaning towards organisations set up to stand up for workers rights in a capitalist society just isn't the same thing.

It's just as valid to call George Bush jnr a Nazi as it is to call Obama a commie.

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