Tesla, the US premium electric car manufacturer, has opened its London flagship dealership.
The showroom, or Tesla store as the carmaker calls it, is in London's Westfield Shopping Centre and was opened by Tesla founder Elon Musk, who's been recruited by the UK Government to advise it on electric car markets and future mobility.
Tesla wants to do things differently, with a network of manufacturer-owned retail points alongside premium fashion and technology brands such as Gucci and MontBlanc.
A far larger number of consumers visit shopping centres than do traditional car dealerships, so it feels that placing its products in such venues is a great opportunity to educate prospective customers, offer test drives and build brand awareness.
Customers will be able to see the Tesla Model S, expected to cost about £60,000, and speak to product specialists but ultimately will be asked to place orders via the Tesla web site.
Jerome Guillen, vice president of service and sales at Tesla, said he hoped a shopping centre would feel less of a “high-pressure sales environment” than a conventional forecourt showroom.
He said: “People can look in casually the first time, come again and ask a question then come back another time and ask another question.”
The first cars at Westfield — California-based Tesla’s first UK outlet — are left-hand drive, but right-hand drive models are on the way.