South Africa will get its first Tesla dealership next year - here’s what the showrooms look like
South African-born billionaire Elon Musk said on Twitter on Tuesday morning that the first South African Tesla dealership could be established by the end of 2019.
The entrepreneur in 2016 said Tesla’s cheapest vehicle, the Model 3, would be available in the country, but it is yet to be released locally.
Probably end of next year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018
Tesla's outlets typically look different than traditional car dealerships, designed with a minimalist philosophy that echoes innovative retail companies like Apple.
Business Insider’s Mark Matousek visited a Tesla showroom in New York City to see how it looks inside:
The first thing I noticed was the store's minimalist design philosophy. Like Tesla's cars, the store seemed to emphasise the removal of non-essential features.
Because Tesla sells its vehicles directly to customers instead of using independent dealerships, the company has more control over its stores and the way they present the brand to consumers than other automakers do.
The aesthetic alignment between the store and its products reminded me of an Apple store and highlighted the fact that the store is selling Tesla as a brand as much as its cars and energy products.
When I first walked in, I was approached by a friendly and outgoing Tesla employee. Her enthusiasm didn't wane when she learned that I wasn't in the market for a car. She explained Tesla's business model, vehicles, and energy business clearly and concisely.
She and her colleagues reminded me of a hybrid between Apple employees and traditional car salespeople, combining the former's approachability with the latter's extraversion and persistence.
The first employee I spoke with was eager to strike a conversation about Tesla at a moment's notice in a style that blended tech evangelism and product-oriented selling.
While the Tesla store didn't have any cars on the lot for those who want to drive home with one, there were cars available for a test drive.
You could evaluate your options through the store's digital "design studio."
And if you wanted to buy a Tesla vehicle, an employee could guide you through the process at one of the store's computers.
Overall, the store reinforced Tesla's aesthetic identity and showed how the convergence of the auto and tech industries might influence the way cars are sold.
Even the barista's station was clean and stylish.
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