Tesla Tweaks Store Design To Explain Company, Electric Cars, Model X


Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

Tesla Store Los Angeles [photo: Misha Bruk / MBH Architects]

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For the past few years, Tesla Motors has sold its electric cars directly to customers through stores that resemble high-end retail outlets more than traditional car dealerships.

Now, those stores are getting what is likely their first major revamp since the retail scheme was launched with the 2012 arrival of the Model S electric sedan.

The current changes center around new displays meant to better explain what Tesla is, and how its electric cars work.

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The revamp is being rolled out in anticipation of the launch of the Model X crossover, according to Mashable, which examined one of the update stores.

The store--located in the Santana Row shopping center in San Jose, California--includes graphics and interactive displays focusing on four main "themes."

Those are safety, "Autopilot" autonomous features, charging stations, and the dual-motor all-wheel drive system of certain Model S variants.

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

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As with the current store layout, at least one Model S and an exposed chassis will also be displayed.

Tesla reportedly plans to continue using its retail stores as much for educational and publicity purposes as for sales.

As before, staff will be on hand to answer questions at all levels, from, "How does an electric car work?" to detailed queries about options, performance, and specifications.

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The stores will continue to give it a high-profile public presence, but online transactions are still expected to account for the bulk of its sales.

Tesla is also trying to deepen its connection with customers by offering them more things to buy.

The "Tesla Design Collection" already includes a $300 tote bag, $100 sheepskin leather driving gloves, and a $40 iPhone sleeve.

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013

Enlarge Photo

Tesla will also begin selling branded cycling jerseys in October.

Some of the items are made from scraps of the same leather used in Model S interiors, and a line of weekend bags is named after different Supercharger DC fast-charging locations.

MORE: Second Tesla Gallery, Service Center Opening This Weekend In Houston

Tesla also plans twice-yearly, seasonal updates of its stores, to keep public interest high.

The revamp being unveiled now will last two quarters, with another update planned for 2016.

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