Tesla's Model S (Mark Matousek, Business Insider)
Tesla's Model S (Mark Matousek, Business Insider)

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. 

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: 

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)
(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


You could evaluate your options through the store's digital "design studio."

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


And if you wanted to buy a Tesla vehicle, an employee could guide you through the process at one of the store's computers.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


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.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)


Even the barista's station was clean and stylish.

(Mark Matousek, Business Insider)

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