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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 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.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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