When Tesla Motors CEO Martin Eberhard talked to AutoblogGreen recently, he said that Tesla would not be using traditional franchised dealers to sell their electric cars. Instead, they will be establishing company owned customer centers around the country. For established car-makers with dealer networks, opening company owned dealerships is considered unfair competition under most state franchise laws. Since Tesla doesn't have any existing dealership network, having company outlets won't be unfair competition, because there is no one to compete with. Another issue is that no existing dealers are prepared to service and support the Tesla vehicles, so the company would have to provide the training and support.

Since initial sales volumes will be relatively low, and very little maintenance is required with an electric car, they won't need as many stores at first. Initially there will be five customer centers opening up in 2007 in the strongest markets for the Roadster. After that, more will be added over the next two years in preparation for the launch of WhiteStar. Tesla Marketing VP Darryl Siry confirmed that they have selected a location in Los Angeles and are scouting locations in the Bay Area, Chicago and New York. The Miami area is another likely launch location for the Roadster, since it's a natural market for sports cars. After launching the Roadster, they will move into other secondary markets like Seattle, Boston and Atlanta.
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[Source: Tesla Motors]

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