Nice feature on Tesla’s ambitions with the Detroit Autoshow as a backdrop from Autonews. I wouldn’t say there is much new here but it goes into disturbing detail on the supposed perils that Tesla faces as it tries to ramp from 20,000 vehicles/year to 200,000.
Industry executives predict Tesla will need to join with an established dealership group that will allow the company to spread its retail and service wings in states that restrict Tesla factory stores.
But Musk says he will not consider such a proposition. Maintaining control of the retail process is key to him. And he says skeptics are overstating the need for a huge dealer network because word-of-mouth plays a larger role for Tesla than for other brands.
Musk says four Model S sedans are sold by word-of-mouth, rather than by conventional marketing, for every one sold as a result of someone walking into a store off the street.
“I don’t think we’re going to need an enormous amount of stores. We’ll have some flagships in major markets,” he said. “What will sell cars in the long term will be other customers — word-of-mouth.”
“It’s very easy to get swept up in the enthusiasm,” Moore said. “But we can’t suspend the laws of physics or economics for them. … They have a list with some ‘We need a miracle’ items.”
From his perspective, Musk doesn’t see Tesla requiring any “eureka” moments.
“Destiny is in our own hands,” Musk said. “If we don’t succeed, it’s our own fault.”
No one seems to realize that this same “no he can’t, yes he did” back and forth is going on 5+ years.