Tesla Motors Inc (Nasdaq: TSLA) will open 10 retail stores in malls across the U.S. over the course of the fall, the company announced Friday, as it marked the opening of the first store at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y.
“All retail locations have Tesla’s Model S premium sedan on display, and many have dedicated test-drive vehicles,” George Blankenship, Tesla vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, said Friday.
Tesla has embarked on the unusual marketing and sales strategy as it rolls out its Model S sedan. The stores act as locations where potential buyers can see Tesla’s cars, test drive and configure their cars. Telsa will have 24 retail locations in North America and 34 globally following the addition of the new stores this fall. The new stores will be located in the Boston and Chicago metropolitan areas; Paramus and Morristown, N.J.; San Diego and Topanga, Calif.; Miami Beach, Fla.; and McLean, Va.; as well as the company’s first Canadian location in Toronto.
“As we open locations throughout the country, our approach continues to be geared toward engaging and informing more people about Tesla and Model S and the technology behind it,” Blankenship said. Tesla said the retail stores will provide a no-pressure environment for potential customers to explore the cars, ask questions “and engage with informative product specialists to learn me about the many advantages of going electric.” Tesla is betting that a retail environment more akin to that of Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) Apple Stores than the traditional car lot hard-sell will help it reach new customers.
The company has said that it plans to continue expanding its retail network into 2013 as it ramps up production of the new Model S. More than 12,200 Model S vehicles have been reserved as of July. The company began delivery of the new sedan in June.
Tesla Motors Inc shares fell 2.36 percent to $30.17 Friday morning.