Geek-chic car maker Tesla Motors will open its flagship London store this week, in a most unusual location.
The shop will lauch with an exclusive party on Thursday 24th October in the Westfield shopping centre, Shepherds Bush, with doors opening to customers on Friday 25th. Details of the launch event are being kept hush-hush, but we expect Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk to be there to greet prospective customers, who will be given an opportunity to book test drives of the Model S – an all-electric luxury saloon.
Opening a car dealership in a shopping centre may seem a bit odd, but Tesla Motors is no stranger to doing things a little differently. A far larger number of consumers visit shopping centres than do traditional car dealerships, so placing its products in such venues is a great opportunity to educate prospective customers, offer test drives and build brand awareness.
Obviously, customers won’t be able to put their Model S into a carrier bag and walk out – they’ll ultimately be asked to place orders via the Tesla web site.
Tesla has high hopes for the Model S, which has been well received in the media, despite is hefty price tag.
Not everyone’s happy with Tesla’s approach. It has come under heavy criticism in the United States, as some believe it flaunts franchise legislation, denying independent dealers a slice of the pie. Some states, including Texas, have been successful in blocking Tesla Motors from selling their cars.
In response, Tesla Motors says there’s a need to educate customers about electric mobility, in order “to reduce misconceptions” that surround the technology.
We’ll be attending the opening of the store on Thursday to see it in action for ourselves, cameras, notebooks and champagne flutes in hand.