Tesla is about to start selling cars at a Los Angeles outlet of the upscale fashion retailer Nordstrom, according to Fast Company. It will display its Model X SUV inside the tiny, 400 square foot store at The Grove mall starting June 18th, and allow prospects to take test drives with on-site Tesla employees. The company doesn't yet have a sale license for the location, so if a prospect wants to buy on the spot, they'll have call a salesperson at a Tesla dealership or place the order online.
The deal was spearheaded by Ganesh Srivats, Tesla's North American sales VP -- he's a former exec at fashion retailer Burberry who worked closely with Nordstrom. The company thinks that the pricey Model S and Model X -- and soon the more reasonable Model 3 -- may appeal to the retailer's upscale shoppers.
Ultimately we're going to be restricted by the dealerships from engaging in the new playful ways that we're able to do because we own our business.
However, Tesla may expand to some of Nordstrom's other 121 stores in the US and Canada if the pilot program works. The EV company believes it's important to have a retail presence beyond its 215 stores around the world, especially since it plans to sell 500,000 Model 3s. However, it thinks the idea wouldn't be possible without its direct sales model. "Because ultimately we're going to be restricted by the dealerships from engaging in the new playful ways that we're able to do because we own our business," Srivats tells Fast Co.