2012 Tesla Model S SignatureEnlarge Photo
The first new store opens today, at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York. Following this, store openings are planned at upscale retail locations in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Paramus, New Jersey; Morristown, New Jersey; San Diego, California; Miami Beach, Florida; McLean, Virginia and Topanga, California.
In November, the brand expands into the Canadian market with the opening of a retail store in Toronto, Ontario. When all of the new stores are completed, Tesla will have a total of 34 showrooms worldwide, and further expansion is planned for 2013.
Each store will have a Tesla Model S premium sedan on the floor, and most will have vehicles available for consumers to test drive. In the words of Tesla’s vice president of worldwide sales, George Blankenship, the goal of the retail stores will be “engaging and informing more people about Tesla and the Model S and the technology behind it.”
In other words, expect stores to deliver no-pressure information to customers, whether they’re seriously shopping for an electric sedan or simply curious about Tesla, the Model S or even electric cars in general. As Blankenship puts it, “We know we’ve done our job when customers leave smiling.”
Noble ideals aside, each location was carefully chosen for its economic demographics. Many of the consumers strolling through The Mall at Short Hills in Morristown, New Jersey, for example, wouldn’t bat an eyelash at spending $60,000 or more on a new car, especially if it one-upped the neighbors.
We think Tesla’s on the right track here, and we’d like nothing better than to see the domestic brand become the first all-electric major global automaker. It's already planning on increasing Model S production, and something tells us that's a sound business decision.