Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on September 19, 2008
Tesla Motors has unveiled their first dealership in Santa Monica, California, reportedly “attracting a gaggle of reporters”. (Hopefully they weren’t obscuring actual consumers.) The chi chi location reflects the high taste of the consumer: the über slick Roadster retails for a cool $109,000. The second location, further north in San Carlos, is specifically aimed at the Silicon Valley elite.
With a range of 220 miles per charge and mileage equivalent to 135 mpg, the electric engine doesn’t lack in horsepower, going from still to 60 mph in less than four seconds. No wonder the demand has been high. 600 orders so far and another 400 on the waiting list.
So, where are all the cars? Well, of the four produced, car number one has gone to CEO President Elon Musk (natch); car two is getting a custom paint job and is destined for “ousted company co-founder Martin Eberhard”; number three will be delivered to a consumer shortly; and the fourth is enjoying a PR tour of Europe.
Which means, only 996 to go.
But hey, at least the showrooms look cool. Musk explained that the showroom took design cues from Apple. “The Apple stores have worked out well. It’s a fantastic consumer experience,” Musk told AutoWeek. “We wanted a non-traditional automotive experience, and we have it.”
The company also has plans to make two versions of a luxury sedan called the Whitestar — an all electric version, which will run on a lithium-ion battery and an “extended-range” version, which relies old school gasoline for longer distance driving.
Hopefully, the price point on the Whitestar will be a little lower to warrant opening a showroom in, say, Pasadena.