Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's Electric! Tesla Motors Bringing Georgia's First Showroom to Marietta

A Tesla Motors showroom is finally coming to Atlanta!

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla Motors will open a vehicle showroom next to its existing vehicle service center in Marietta.  Both facilities will be located on South Marietta Parkway, just off Cobb Parkway.

The service center opened earlier this year and was immediately followed by rumors of an actual showroom.  Originally forum rumors and the service center itself claimed a showroom would open "at Lenox Square." Whether this was ever in the works is a mystery to me, but I have no clue where it would have been in or at Lenox.  There were even job postings for the "Lenox Square" showroom, but they have since been removed.

For now, the only Tesla showroom will be in Marietta, and will surely will be far less expensive than any Buckhead locale.

Interestingly, the thing that has gotten the company banned in Texas is that Tesla is taking the Apple playbook into car sales and sells their their vehicles directly to consumers, bypassing the traditional dealer network.  Key to this plan is commission free employees and uniform prices at every store.  Oddly enough, dealers are not happy being cut out of the equation, and have lobbied for anti-Tesla legislation, pending in North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.

Tesla has developed a cult-like following, and perhaps knowing this has convinced Tesla executives they need not pay for premium real estate, and can rely on die-hard Tesla fans to seek them out wherever they open, and let word of mouth do the rest.  (Antico Pizza anyone?)

In case you've been under a rock, Tesla Motors is an electric vehicle company started in 2003 by Elon Musk, internet entrepreneur and billionaire co-founder of electronic payments website Paypal.    

Earlier this year, Tesla posted its first profit in 10 years, and as a result, its stock has been one of the hottest on the market.  Tesla (NYSE: TSLA) is up nearly 375% since the start of 2013, now trading north of  $170, having started the year around $35.

Tesla's most popular model to date is its Model S.   The Model S sport sedan starts at $63,570 and runs to more than $100,000, with the largest battery and other options.

This year, the Model S scored the top federal safety rating and the top Consumer Reports rating this year, surprising many car enthusiasts whom had written the carmaker off.

Now Tesla is looking to increase production to meet growing demand.

While I've seen a handful of Model S vehicles around town, one has to wonder how quickly the supply of easily accessible charging stations can be increased to meet the increased demand.

As of now, there are charging stations at Lenox Square, Suburban Plaza, and the Tesla service center, but few other places around Atlanta.

What are your thoughts on Tesla? Do you want your next car to be a Tesla?  Where would you like to see an electronic charging station?  Please share your thoughts below.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've missed all of the previous test drive events in Atlanta, so it'll be nice to have a showroom to visit and schedule a test drive anytime. I've made a reservation on a Model X but it'll be 2015 before that arrives, so it'll be nice to have somewhere to visit!

SB said...

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with that area of Atlanta but the other Tesla showrooms I have been to have been in the flagship malls of those respective cities. Quite disappointing this didn't end up in Buckhead at Lenox or Phipps.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: Tesla has shifted toward opening sales centers within existing service centers as a method of expanding more quickly, at least for right now.

Anonymous said...

For the most part, Tesla drivers (I am one of them) will charge their vehicles at home and at night when the electrical grid is off-peak, which is better for everyone. Having charging stations or battery switching stations does open up the market to people without convenient garages and carports. I would be thrilled to see a Tesla Supercharging station on I-16 (near Dublin?) and one in the Atlanta metro area to accommodate potential buyers who only have access to street parking.

Chris C. said...

Good to see the Tesla situation finally get a writeup here.

Public charging infrastructure around town simply isn't relevant to a Tesla owner. With 200-300 miles of range (depending on the model), Tesla owners simply leave the house every morning with a full "tank" of energy and can go 200-300 miles wherever they want.

As the previous post said, the only time public charging comes into play is those few times a year when you go on a long road trip. For those situations, right now you take your gas car (most Teslas are sold to two-car households). But some Atlanta-area Tesla owners have already successfully driven to points distant (Savannah, Florida, Michigan, etc.) by making use of, believe it or not, RV parks which have high power outlets for campers. But the real solution for Tesla's owners is to get Tesla's Supercharger network to extend to Georgia, and THAT will happen by the end of the year (Commerce GA is the rumored first one). Check out the map here: http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger