- May 4, 2010
Tesla CEO envisions company-owned dealer network comparable to Apple stores
It could definitely be argued that traditional automotive dealerships are hit or miss; there are some first-class dealerships and a fair amount of duds. Tesla Motors chief executive officer Elon Musk knows this situation presents itself all too often in the automotive industry and would like Tesla's dealer network to stand above the mess. So far, Tesla has taken steps to avoid the pitfalls of traditional dealerships by eliminating privately-owned stores, but Musk has higher goals in sight.
While owning each dealership should help ensure consistent service, Tesla wants to go even further by following the approach used in the Apple Stores. Apple staffs all of its stores with product specialists, aka "geniuses." The geniuses help customers buy products that meet their needs and make buyers feel good about their choices. This is a key goal for Tesla, which feels that it has a special product to offer niche buyers and the company's global network of Tesla stores is small, as is the annual sales volume of the Roadster. This low-volume allows each Tesla store to focus on the customer, Musk says, adding, "The customer feedback has been really positive, close to how Apple customers view their product." Reaching the almost god-like status of Apple will not be easy, but we don't doubt that Elon Musk, the 2010 Automotive Executive of the Year Innovator, has the drive and determination to try and get it done.
[Source: Ward's Auto]