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Limited Tesla Stores

Limited Tesla Stores

There are a lot of Tesla stores but not enough to get people to look at it or learn about. Don't get me wrong Roadster, Model S, and Model X has excellent quality, but there's not a whole lot of Tesla stores to go check out the cars. (For example (a real story with me) we live in Reading, PA, and there's dangerously no Tesla stores anywhere at an easy place. The closest Tesla store is Tesla New York, about 130 miles away. We thought the Model S was not there so we went to Tesla Westchester to look at Model S. It was 162 miles away from home with a proximate time of 3 hours and 10 minutes on July 17Th, left at (estimated times) 9:20 AM and ended up there at (estimated) 12:30 PM).
And why am I complaining, it's because how distant I am from Tesla Stores. With the luxury of a Honda dealership 4 miles away from my house compared to 130/160 (depends on which store) miles, hopefully you can see why I am complaining. I'm probably not the only one too
All in all, Tesla dealerships are an excellent idea, but there just needs to be more of them.
Thanks for reading Tesla Fanatics or Tesla Manager (or possibly) Elon Musk :).

Peter Spirgel | August 8, 2012

+1 for a sorely needed store in the Philadelphia area!

Heartland | August 8, 2012

I'm sorry that I may be jaded. I live 5 hours away from Chicago (the closest location to me) and here is someone complaining about two stores in a closer area than that. I am also a realist in that I don't expect a brand new company to be placing hundreds of stores without enough sales to justify their existence. I would rather Tesla be in business several years from now and have to drive a few more miles to get service than to have a car with no service available because Tesla over extended their growth before they could support it.

Peter Spirgel | August 8, 2012

@Theresa
I understand your point of view but at a minimum Tesla should have stores in the largest metropolitan areas and Philadelphia is the 6th largest metropolitan area in the US.

m67tesla | August 8, 2012

@Theresa Tesla is not brand new, it had cars since 2008 and here is 2012 so Tesla is not new

stephen.kamichik | August 8, 2012

In Canada we have NO stores and ONE service area.

Sudre_ | August 8, 2012

WOW! 130 miles away that is so close! On the bright side you will be able to get your car serviced even with a 65kw battery.

I live in St. Louis. I have to drive to Chicago, over 300 miles away. The Model S with a 85kw battery won't even make that for a service check up so I am really hoping they concentrating on getting something a little closer to the people that need it.

m67tesla | August 8, 2012

@Sudre 130 miles is more than 2 hr drive

Sudre_ | August 8, 2012

@m67tesla a lot closer than 300 miles which is more than a 5 hour drive and more than the Model S can even drive. Do you plan on making daily trips to Tesla? I am not saying they don't need a store closer to you. I was just pointing out it would be nice if they could first get something close to the people that can't even get their cars serviced without paying $1000 for a Ranger to stop by.

RobS | August 8, 2012

I live in Atlanta and flew to south Florida for my test drive. Here's hoping for a service center closer than 650 miles away before my first service is due.

I am 3146 | August 8, 2012

There is going to be a service center based in King of Prussia. (Tesla had a job posting for a service manager for KOP)

Jon

kublai | August 8, 2012

@NJ7065

Where's this? How certain are you of this? I've tried contacting Tesla customer inquiries but they haven't given me any specifics regarding any type of Atlanta location be it store or service shop. I remember that job posting for ATL and it has since been removed. Not sure if it was filled or scratched.

I am 3146 | August 8, 2012

I looked at the About Tesla tab and Careers, still showing a store going to ATL also.

http://tbe.taleo.net/NA7/ats/careers/jobSearch.jsp?org=TESLA&cws=1

Larry Chanin | August 8, 2012

First let me say that I am very sympathetic to the plight of folks that think that stores are too far away. However, Tesla is a startup company whose success is not assured. They simply do not have the financial resources to place stores in every major population center from Day One.

As Elon frequently states, Tesla currently is production constrained, not demand constrained. It does Tesla no good to strain resources establishing stores and building reservation backlogs when it does not have production rates capable of satisfying the current demand.

I fully expect that as production rates increase, progress is made whittling down the backlog, and they come out of the red, that Tesla will accelerate the expansion of its stores. To do anything else is to gamble with the viability of the company.

Larry

TJK | August 8, 2012

Agreed, we need a Philly store!

Vall | August 8, 2012

Wouldn't they just have authorised service centers that have gone through some training or certification? Or are they all going to be tesla owned and operated? It seems that with 20 000 cars a year they will be too thinly spread to justify a dense network of dealerships and service centers. They are going to have to charge quite a lot for every service or repair to make up the cost if they work only with tesla models. And the cars are expected to need less maintenance than the roadster i think.

jerry3 | August 8, 2012

- Wouldn't they just have authorised service centers that have gone through some training or certification

Let's hope not. That's the dealer model which adds 30% to the cost of the car and service. Also the way the dealerships and automobile manufacturers work "certified" is that they put one mechanic or two through certification school to get the certified certificate. Once they have the certificate, the trained person leaves but the dealership is still certified. It's a horrible system that should be done away with.

Epley | August 8, 2012

Well said, Larry!

walla2 | August 8, 2012

Truthfully for just starting out as a company, 130 miles is the ideal range to a store and their choice of locations near you is likely perfect to cover the most people. With that range you can get a 160 range car there without sweating it and easily get the 300 range car. With either situation, you can charge at the store and return home. Perhaps, Tesla could have a deal with a rental car company to have or eventually loaners available at their service centers/stores. My two closest stores are 250/280 miles away. I plan on a half point charge lunch when I go the 280 because the traffic or some other factor might get me. A store will likely someday come there but mine will always be 250/280. Be thankful for your 130/160 Philly. You are in the ideal range in my opinion.

Brian H | August 8, 2012

Solution: wait till enough cars have been sold in a comfortable service radius around existing stores/centers to keep them busy, then expand to the nearest population center, repeat. For customers, wait till such stores/centers open in their radius before buying/taking delivery. That way everything stays nice and neat!

Unfortunately, many are so impatient and arrogant that they go ahead and buy cars before TM has a chance to build up resources to service them quickly and conveniently! And then demand Satisfaction!

But that's the (messy) way the world works: first the inconvenience, then the fix.
>:)

JOHN HOLLINGSWORTH | August 8, 2012

+1 add another for the Philadelphia area

Sparrow | August 9, 2012

Tesla doesn't have a service center yet in Atlanta, but we do have a local Service Manager. Getting a store will be hard since Georgia is one of those States that require dealers and thus Tesla can not sell the cars themselves here.

kublai | August 9, 2012

@Sparrow

I figured that would be an issue in GA. I think Tesla could skirt it by opening a store/service shop but redirecting potential buyers to their website to place orders? Isn't Tesla doing this in some other state with this law?

Teoatawki | August 9, 2012

Philadelphia seems like a good spot for a store. Tesla (cherry) picked their locations for stores by the areas roadster sales and mod S reservations were already strong. Strictly bang/buck calculations. Nothing against the city of brotherly love, but apparently too many other places beat it in GeorgeBnomics. Your turn will surely come.

TonyF | August 9, 2012

@ m67tesla, I have heard from several Tesla employees (my owner advocate, the manager of the NYC store, and even the co-pilot of my test drive when the get Amped tour stopped in Northern
New Jersey)... they all said that the plan is for a Tesla store/service center in King of Prussia, PA. This fits well into their strategy for locating stores in large malls and crowded promenades. The King of Prussia Mall complex is the second largest in the US behind Mall of America in Minneapolis. Tesla has been hiring employees for months for the KOP store. This location is about 45 minutes from the center of Reading.

Mocaptain | August 9, 2012

looks like another center in Boston :)

Vall | August 9, 2012

@kublai
Isn't Tesla doing this in some other state with this law?

I thought that was their only model, no sales in ANY of the stores, just order on internet, from the store or your home, and then they can deliver your car at the store or your house. No money exchange in the "stores", only showing the cars, interiors, options, and asking questions.

Volker.Berlin | August 10, 2012

Vall +1, that's my understanding as well.

Volker.Berlin | August 10, 2012

In particular: No commissions, facilitating a more open conversation between prospects and staff.

Cirion | August 10, 2012

Why not just move closer to a Tesla store?

ChristianG | August 10, 2012

The 'apple' concept in my eyes is a problem and at least for service they should consider to certify local garages to service their vehicles. Driving 130 miles or more for a service isn't userfriendly.

Volker.Berlin | August 10, 2012

ChristianG, service and stores are two entirely separate things for Tesla.

As has been said, stores are actually show rooms, located in malls, in the neighborhood of other upscale stores. They are not so much aimed at closing a sale, but are primarily intended to educate passers-by, whether or not they are actually going to buy a car.

For service, Tesla plans big, efficient service centers located in strategic locations, e.g., close to some intersection of two interstates in the middle of nowhere, where land is cheap and a couple of denser populated areas are within a 50 mile radius. These service centers are not where you bring your car! These service centers are where the Tesla ranger brings your car after getting it directly from your garage, and he will deliver it back to your doorstep when it is done. But that's assuming that the problem at hand could not actually be fixed directly at your doorstep, which will be the preferred mode of operation.

Musk argues that the efficiency gains of having fewer, larger, centralized service centers more than offset the cost for the ranger to get and return your car, and that the overall customer experience will be far superior.

There has been some interview a while ago where he went into quite some detail on this topic. I'll see if I can find it, when I have some time, but maybe you can locate it yourself now that you know what you are looking for.

ChristianG | August 10, 2012

@Volker Tesla tries to do all the service by themself. So the car has to be brought to those centers. Bringing something somewhere doesn't come free. So I Probalby will have to pay for it. After that it will need some time to get there and back. So lets be optimistik and and it's the 130miles wich would need 2-3 houres to get there, this is 4-6 houres to get back to you wich leaves the mechanic guy 2-4 houres for the service if you want your car back the same day... Also you have to pay for your service facility and all the people. Also we're all a bit wanna-be green. Why ship your car throu half the country to service?

Now look at the more normal model. You offer certifications to service your car. people all over the place pay for that certifaction, maybe even buy needed equipment from you to service the car and then go off and offer their service 5 min away from your place. They pay less as they don't have to transport the car and have the car back earlier. And Tesla don't have to build a complicated infrastructure.

I know, there are not enough tesla cars out there yet that the demand of for the certifacation will be that great. Also it will take some time for a wide spread net of service providers. So their Model now isn't that bad. But when they have a few hundredthousand cars out?

Why the hassle to do everything yourself. Especialy as everyone states how easy the maintenance for electric cars is, and you probably don't need it anyway...

Brian H | August 10, 2012

ChristianG;
Certification quickly becomes a scam. Certify one mechanic, then he leaves or is let go, but the "certification" stays. And means nothing.

As for driving to the center, the "model" is that your car is picked up at your home, and returned there. No driving involved. You never even see the center.

ChristianG | August 10, 2012

@Brian as far as I know the whole Ranger concept charges you on how far you're away from the nearest service center. So it comes down if the costs are high enough so I'd take a day off and drive there myself. Also will they provide an other car for me in the meanwhile. If so they have to bring it, so again the economics of that is... not that good. If not it's poor service. (those damn vicious circles ;))

Yes certification is only worth if it's done periodically. It's all up to tesla to provide proper education with every major update. As you have to manage the Education as well with your own service centers that problem is the same.

I just can't imagin that shipping around heavy cars for hundreds of miles is the most 'efficient' way to do it. It just seems to take longer and cost more. I know it's a tradeoff we might havt to pay as we are 'early' adopters but for me it just doesn't sound right for hundred of thousands of cars.

Volker.Berlin | August 10, 2012

ChristianG, at least, those cars are among the most efficient ones on the road! So that mitigates the issue a little bit... ;-)

(I take your point, but I'm afraid, Tesla has different plans. I'm very curious how it will all work out!)

jerry3 | August 10, 2012

-- and at least for service they should consider to certify local garages to service their vehicles

Let's hope not. That's how Toyota does it and it doesn't work for the consumer. (It works just fine for the dealer because once certified, the technician who got the certification can be replaced by a minimum wage worker and the dealer still keeps the certification forever. Because the Toyota service department is just a black box, you never develop a relationship with the person doing the service and you never know what their qualifications are. This results in the consumer having to check every bit of work done because there's a 50% chance something was messed up.)

ChristianG | August 10, 2012

@Jerry3 7 years with my Toyota and no problems what so ever. Looking at official troubleshooting of many companies, just that the fact that they are working at the same companies,that doesn't make them miracusly competent. Also I probably have a much closer relationship with the guy who did the service on my Toyota (I saw him getting the key from behind the desk) as with the Tesla guy who works in a service center some 130milses away where my car is brought by some ranger guys.

I'm also not in the least bit qualified to check any works a car mechanic does.

The good thing about it, if you don't like the service in one toyota garage, I can go to the next wich is probably 5 min down the road. If you're not happy with your tesla service center you probalby have to change the state/country ^^

jfeldman72 | August 10, 2012

I am a reservation holder in Charleston SC and I had to fly to NY for the test drive. I too am hoping there is a store/serivce center close to me by the time my first service is due. This may be my only reservation about getting the car.

jerry3 | August 10, 2012

ChristianG,

It's not that I've had problems, just poor service. Things like overfilling the oil and not getting all the air out of the coolant during a coolant change. I have tried all the dealers in the area (there aren't any independents unless you live in CA or FL) and they all provide the same poor level of service.

On the other hand, there are no complaints from Roadster owners about Tesla service.

m67tesla | August 10, 2012

OMG!! TESLA IS NOT A STARTUP COMPANY THEY STARTED MAKING CARS IN 2008 EVERYONE

Peter7 | August 10, 2012

m67tesla,

I think those at Tesla would be very pleased to know that you don't feel that they are a start-up, and that they both are equivalent to Honda, and should be held up to the same level of ease of visiting a store, purchasing, and service centers. To have that, means that they truly are on their way!

OTOH, since 2008, Tesla has sold ~2,500 cars worldwide. Honda has sold ~6,000,000 in just the US. Perhaps that may help you grasp why they don't have a dealership 4 miles from you also.

Peter

Vawlkus | August 10, 2012

I could be mistaken, but my thoughts on servicing were these

1) if the Ranger comes your house and services your car there, you are charged based on the distance that Ranger travelled.

2) if the Ranger collects your car to bring to a service center, you are not charged for the Ranger's travel since he did not perform service in situ.

Either way, you only pay for the service if it's not warrantee work.

Feel free to discuss that as you wish.

Sudre_ | August 10, 2012

ChristianG, has some good points. We just don't know how this maintenance thing is going to work. It is one of the reasons I will have to differ if they don't have answers by the time they want me to commit.

$600 for a yearly check up is one thing (and high) but for me to have to drive it all the way to Chicago and pay $600, get a $100 hotel room (since I am not driving 600 miles in a day) is way out of my ballpark.

Now if they call me while I am at work and I run down give the Ranger the keys then they bring it back before I leave work.....that is !service! and I might consider the $600 a year worth it. That's just way out of others price range tho.

Mocaptain | August 10, 2012

Here is an intersting point for all the Boston or MA folks. So it was told, the delay on the store in Natick was directly related to the state requiring every dealership to also have the facilities to service the vehicle it sells. I wonder now that the Natick Store has been back on track, perhaps they will have a serice center there.

Teoatawki | August 10, 2012

Mocaptain,

Unless they managed to convince the powers that be that a Tesla store is NOT a dealership..

jbunn | August 10, 2012

Seriously, folks. New factory purchased and online, ground up design, retail stores, service branches, international reach, supercharger network, personal delivery. Done and done.

Any thing else you want? Some juice or a nice fluffy pillow?

The most dangerous thing for a business right now is overreach.

Sure they could advertise in the superbowl. Be great. But if you plunked cash right now, you can't get delivery until this time next year. The problem is NOT demand. You don't build stores when you have a one year back log. You concentrate your efforts and your valuable cash reserves on your supply chain.

bsimoes | August 11, 2012

Yesterday I was looking at the jobs offered, and the Natick location was looking for service personnel. That, so far, would be the closest to me at two hundred miles away.
I think it is frustrating for people when we see stores popping up in the same general locations. What I mean by this is that the NY stores are under 30 miles from each other, yet, until the Boston area has representation, NY is the closest for all of the NE region. For me, it would be 267 miles,(5+ hours drive time) which would probably be the only reason I would then need to get the largest battery pack. Really, as a daily driver, and my only car, I will, at most, drive 100 miles in a day, and that would be on the weekend for a nice "day trip." $10,000 more just so I can get the car to be serviced seems extreme.--Yes, I could stop and supercharge...maybe,but if not,add on a few more hours. I, like Sudre, couldn't do that trip all in one day, so I too, would need to also get a room to break up the trip. It just adds great time, expense and worry for people not living in one of the "chosen" metro areas. We all understand that Tesla has to take it slow and that they cannot overextend themselves--nor can we! Please allow us to vent our concerns. If you live near a service area--great; many of us don't.

thxdude | August 11, 2012

Store in Minneapolis/St. Paul please!

Robert22 | August 11, 2012

bsimoes-

Tesla is well aware of the New England "hole" and will definitely be filling it "soon" according to a product specialist I spoke to this week. When I expressed my concerns about potential Boston to Westchester County NY service runs (8+ hour round trip) I was told it would not likely be an issue for a November delivery. He did not elaborate when pressed for details.

I sympathize with those who will need to travel much longer distances. It really is an inconvenience that will affect future sales if not addressed in a timely manner.

Brian H | August 11, 2012

ChristianG | August 10, 2012 new
...
I just can't imagin that shipping around heavy cars for hundreds of miles is the most 'efficient' way to do it. It just seems to take longer and cost more. I know it's a tradeoff we might havt to pay as we are 'early' adopters but for me it just doesn't sound right for hundred of thousands of cars.

Elon specifically addressed the extra per-service cost of home service, saying that the trade-off of not having to plaster the vast country up front with half-vast service centers made it actually cheaper, not to mention far more controllable, from both TM's and the customers' POV.

As for the "hundreds of thousands of cars", the problem solves itself. Service centers increase and thus become more densely distributed as deliveries rise. With your postulated 10X++ increase in cars distributed would come a 10X increase, at least, in service centers. So the "8 hr round trip" would shrink to about a 50-min round trip. And the pick-up/delivery timing would improve by the same factor. And the "Ranger trips" for non-warrantee work would shrink by the same amount.

So: either wait till the deliveries total/service center density rises to your necessary convenience level, or budget the extra costs in the meantime. (Note, of course, that frequency of needed repairs is the other multiplier. If it's extremely low, so are all costs.)

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