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Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars

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On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars

Tesla has been shaking up the auto market ever since its founding. A small firm with big ambitions that has gone where the inflexible, big-name automakers can't quite effectively navigate, Tesla has made plenty of headlines for its all-out performance electric Roadster.

Tesla's innovation won't stop at the production lines, as recent news reports detail. The company plans to create a unique retail experience that breaks the mold of the traditional auto dealership. Instead, Tesla will channel  its electric roots and model its dealerships after the consumer electronics industry.

To implement its new dealer network, Tesla has hired George Blankenship as its vice president of design and store development. Blankenship is the executive who developed the concept behind Apple's retail store network. The new dealership experience will guide Tesla's push into Europe and other international markets.

Tesla hasn't detailed its full plan, but visibility will be a major factor in its dealership network. Since Tesla is an obscure name when compared to the household names that dominate the industry, the company wants to become more recognizable. To accomplish this, Tesla will seek to move the dealership into the heart of the city rather than on its outskirts. Like Apple stores (and Microsoft clones), Tesla stores will be designed to be stylish, eye-catching, and inviting. Expect to see big glass windows, strategically placed cars, and clean, purposeful spaces.

Blankenship explained some of what we'll see: "I want to move the brand from the city outskirts into the city center and to start getting people through the doors in big numbers. Our major problem is that ordinary people still don’t know about Tesla. By capitalizing on passing trade, we can let people know that they can already buy an electric car, and make the brand so much more visible."

The move seems like the right one for a small firm with a flashy product. Since Tesla sells only one car at the moment, with imminent plans to add just one more, losing the big space achieved by moving out of downtown areas shouldn't have a huge impact on its business. The company can afford to have a smaller showroom because it doesn't have the product of a Chevy or a BMW. What it does have is a sexy, cherry red convertible that drives on full battery power—something that will certainly attract more than a few browsers.

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RoadKill | 1:12PM (Wed, Nov 10, 2010)

Apple Approach? does that mean they will charge double and force you to use itunes to listen to the radio???

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