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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 mdogs444 on 6/9/2009 10:20:09 AM , Rating: 0
The governments housing regulations (forcing banks to loan to low income and bad credit borrowers) caused the recession in the first place. Until that, SUV's and trucks were selling as good as they always were. Smaller cars were never coming back into fashion, and still aren't. The Pruis saw its sales drop 45%. Add the cost of oil going up over the past decade, with liberal politicians preaching the fear of "peak oil" and "CO2 caused global warming"...bundled with them not letting us drill our own oil....and you have a political market who is artificially regulating the price of oil in our homeland on purpose, while imposing fear and regulations on the market to dictate what the consumers can have...because the consumers (and statistics show this) didn't want the small cars that the liberal politicians wanted us to buy.

You people seem to think that SUV's caused the market crash and the demise of GM. What you fail to realize is that the type of car they are selling has NOTHING to do with their current state. The problem is their labor & legacy costs to the union adding thousands of dollars per car over the competition, and the fact that they produced so many cars (period) that the lots were overfull when the recession. Thus, the company had so much outstanding debt that it couldn't afford to pay it off and stay in business with the drop in revenue from the recession.

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.

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.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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