Tesla representatives at Nordstrom are able to offer test drives in the shopping center’s parking lot but can’t actually sell anything – yet.
LOS ANGELES – Seen by some as an auto-industry game-changer, Tesla Motors’ electric-vehicle showcase inside a Los Angeles-area department store is being scrutinized by the state’s dealers association, which has accused the automaker before of violating marketing laws.
The 400-sq.-ft. (37-sq.-m) display, the first such setup in the nation, opened to the public June 18 and features Tesla’s 7-seat Model X CUV, along with informational wall panels, where customers can pick and choose from various design options.
The mini-showroom is situated next to the men’s clothing department of the Nordstrom in the upscale outdoor shopping venue known as The Grove, within the city’s historic Fairfax District.
Jaime Ramirez, an elementary-school teacher waiting for his wife near the store’s shoe section, says he did a double-take when first espying the Tesla center through the long racks of shoe boxes.
“I had read that Tesla was going to open a shop here, but then forgot about it,” he says. “Then I saw it and was like, ‛Whaaat?’”
After venturing across the store’s expansive first floor and chatting with one of the Tesla staffers, Ramirez says he understands having a Tesla presence “makes sense in Nordstrom” because both upscale brands pull from “much the same demographic: Those with disposable incomes, who are in a good place in life or are on their way, professionals and (those who) appreciate the finer things.”
Tesla will need to expand its customer base and reach out to more consumers still unfamiliar with its product line and EV technology if it is to reach its goal of selling 500,000 vehicles, including the planned new entry-level Model 3 sedan, by 2018.
Tesla representatives at Nordstrom are able to offer test drives in the shopping center’s parking lot but can’t actually transact anything, because the automaker doesn’t hold a sales license for the location, although it’s reportedly trying to get two – for the Model S sedan and Model X.
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Author: Digital Dealer
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