From its first contact with potential buyers, Tesla operates differently than any other automaker. The California-based electric car builder may move even farther from the convention if it begins to close up its glitzy showrooms in favor of simpler warehouses or parking lots stocked with demonstrator vehicles.
According to Electrek, Tesla could work toward closing up its stores and galleries, which tend to be located in high-traffic shopping areas. Replacements would be less flashy and would instead focus on putting shoppers behind the wheel of a new Tesla for a test drive.
Some of the automaker’s more recent facilities look more like miniaturized versions of traditional car dealers, however, with small showrooms attached to much larger service centers.
Shopping center leases are notoriously difficult to break, though, so Tesla may be in for a fight with its landlords.
Tesla has around 170 showrooms and galleries — the latter is the automaker’s name for facilities where it cannot legally sell a car directly to a consumer.
In most states, Tesla controversially skirts dealer franchise laws with a convoluted system (largely invisible to consumers) that sees paperwork for a new model handled by a facility in a separate state. See Tesla models for sale