Tesla's upcoming Model S entry-level luxury EV  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Tesla is currently producing and selling the Tesla Roadster -- currently at Version 2.5
Move could help Tesla distinguish itself as a top brand and improve its commercialization

Love Apple or hate it, it's hard to deny that the company has done a great job marketing its brand.  That brand has been strong enough to let the company flourish -- even when its products aren't as strong.

Tesla Motors has just scored the brains behinds much of Apple's brand image in the retail sector -- George Blankenship.  Blankenship worked as a Vice President for Real Estate Strategy for Gap, Inc. managing 250 stores worldwide.  At Apple he served as Vice President of Real Estate, helping Apple's stores become the incredibly popular shopping spots they are today.

For Tesla the move could prove critical.  In the wake of a soaring initial public offering and subsequent recoil, Tesla must overcome skepticism and start selling product.  The company has recently been opening up new stores -- mostly in urban locations -- to sell its Tesla Roadster 2.5 at.  Those stores will also prove critical when the company launches its Model S entry-level luxury electric vehicle.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk comments, "George has a record of building customer-focused stores that revolutionize their industries, and he does it on time and on budget. There is simply no one better, he is the ideal candidate for Tesla.  With George's leadership, I have no doubt Tesla will have the best retail experience in the auto industry as we continue to grow and prepare to launch the Model S."

Tesla's press release says that the Blankenship will initially be focused on creating stylish, educational Tesla stores in Tokyo, Japan, Toronto, Canada, and Washington, DC.  He will also work to further develop the "Tesla Rangers" concept -- the mobile service team that uses the stores as their home base. 

Blankenship comments, "Joining Tesla allows me to work with some of the boldest and brightest people on the planet while changing the world for the better.  I’m excited to create a retail experience that is as thrilling as my first drive of the Tesla Roadster."

Tesla is also preparing to release several other retail electric vehicles over the next several years -- a cabriolet replacement to the current roadster, a SUV/crossover, and a van.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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