I recently returned from the Los Angeles Auto Show, and I was especially surprised to discover that Tesla had brought precisely four things: one Model S, one Model X, one Model 3 and a kitchen. Actually, it was sort of a combination kitchen-hangout space. But there it was, in Tesla’s designated area: valuable LA Auto Show floor space taken up by a kitchen.
I mention this because it tells me two really interesting things about Tesla. One, Tesla doesn’t really have to work very hard to sell cars. While many other brands had all their cars displayed, showing off as much as possible, perfectly figuring out every inch of their designated areas to reveal as many cars as possible, Tesla actually gave up car display space for this upscale, modern-looking kitchen thing. It’s a bold move — and it’s what happens when your brand is so strong the people will come to you. You need a hangout space and a kitchen, apparently.
The other interesting thing about this kitchen is that it really underscores the emphasis Tesla is trying to put on a specific look. All automakers do this with their dealerships, but Tesla has really taken it to the max, giving their Tesla stores a modern, upscale look, but also showing Tesla customers exactly what how they expect their Tesla customers to live: in this modern, upscale kitchen with this free-flowing hangout space. If you have one of these, Tesla is saying, you are a Tesla customer. Or you should be.
This was a minor moment at the LA Auto Show, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Every brand is selling an experience, but Tesla’s seems especially defined in a very particular way. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, I think the creation of a car brand about more than just cars is an excellent idea that Tesla seems to be doing better than most, but it’s certainly a noteworthy point to mention.
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