Published on September 14th, 2019 | by Maarten Vinkhuyzen
September 14th, 2019 by Maarten Vinkhuyzen
Tesla is not allowed to sell its cars in some states of the USA. That is, it cant open dealerships. Sometimes, even service centers are prohibited. That is unfortunate for Tesla and its (prospective) customers. But as many people are aware, all laws have loopholes.
According to Merriam-Webster:
1 in commerce; to deal is to sell or to trade.2 a dealership is an authorized sales agency.
That makes the loophole clear. If you dont sell cars, those dealership prohibitions dont apply. In a number of states, however, even showing and explaining the cars, with ordering out of state or over the internet, is considered a dealers work, putting Teslas stores under the prohibition.
What is needed to slide through the loophole is another activity or business, one that is normal and legal. But that business would require the showing and explaining of Teslas cars. That activity is car rental. A car rental company is not a dealership, and many are owned by carmakers, at least where I live.
Another great way to show what Tesla is and can do is in the form of galleries. Exhibitions of the work and art of Franz von Holzhausen, even from before he started at Tesla. Exhibitions and video clips of the engineering and problem solving of Elon Musk and JB Straubel. Include many video clips of the competition or amateur ads on YouTube.
Now, we want to also make it visitor friendly, enticing to walk into, nice for viewing the exhibitions, and good for spending some time soaking up the atmosphere. That asks for some hospitality functions, like an internet caf, a Starbucks-like coffee corner, a bakery, and a regulars table for Tesla drivers. Tesla cars sawed in half can be used at booths, showing at the same time the different interiors of the cars.
Besides these infotainment functions, there is room for commercial functions. I envision all Tesla commercial activities with the exception of selling cars to find a place here. Probably just adjacent to the caf and gallery space, visible but separate. Part souvenir store and info desk, part consultancy and service desk. Probably at the backside of the building there should be a garage for the rental cars, a depot for the Tesla mobility service, and other such functions.
I wish I was an artist. In my mind, I can walk around, sit, and order coffee. I can admire the expositions about Franz, Elon, and JB. I can go to the desk of a consultant for advice on my roof, buy presents for my nephews, and rent a car to experience the unique Tesla smile when using launch mode. I see a large, grand caf-like place or indoor market where there are many Tesla-related activities.
When turning what is in my head into a business plans manager overview, it would look like the following.
Nowadays diversified Tesla is a lot bigger than it was. It is possible to open as infotainment, watering hole, and point-of-sale places in closed-minded states better than dealerships without being a dealership. In a high-end place with a lot of foot traffic, a large space with shop windows is great. Inside, we have the following functions:
Those are a lot of legal, commercial, and marketing activities under one roof. Explaining every technical aspect about a Tesla car is part of the job of the car rental employee. Having a very competitive rental tariff starting with 1 hour rentals can attract many prospects who would like a test drive, a drive a bit longer than the custom 20 minute demo with a salesperson. Having a Model X with a trailer is an excellent excuse for IKEA and Home Depot shoppers to bring their goods home and wow their neighbors.
The regular table where Tesla drivers get their complimentary coffee is the place for free advice for prospects. Buyers can conclude their business in the internet caf.
For seating, there are the open halves of the Models S, 3, X arranged as booths along the walls.
If done well, this could even be a cool place to hang out in a city center or large mall.
The perfect place, with a large outdoor terrace, would of course be in Windsor, Canada, on Riverside Drive along the Detroit river, directly opposite the GM towers in Detroit, Michigan. Tesla would not even have to omit the dealership and service center.
Tags: car dealers, legal loophole, Tesla, Tesla dealerships, Tesla galleries
Maarten Vinkhuyzen Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you dont go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since.And putting my money where my mouth is, I have bought Tesla shares. Intend to keep them until I can trade them for a Tesla car.
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