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Tesla: no room for UK dealers (or aftersales profits)

They will also be able to use the European supercharger network when it is rolled out. “You’ll be able to drive from Manchester to Marseilles for free,” said Ell.


Casting a wide net for customers

Tesla will be in Manchester and Birmingham before the end of 2014 and Ell said customers would be within easy reach of a service centre too.

It will primarily be looking for High Street locations, he said,  but the company would consider buying a traditional retail showroom if the location made sense.

While the Model S doesn’t really have a direct competitor, Tesla has its sights set on quite a wide range of rivals.

It will be targeting premium saloon customers to tempt them from BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. Ell also believes that despite the £50,000 starting price, customers will trade up to the Model S because of its running costs.

Company car drivers and SMEs will be interested too, as they can write down 100% of the vehicle against tax.

Beyond a social media and email marketing campaign, Tesla plans to spread the word with its high-footfall retail locations and with word of mouth from cars on the road and customers shouting about their experiences.

Tesla will also be holding special test drive events for anyone wanting to get behind the wheel.

There will be limited slots for customers, but each will be able to get about two hours behind the wheel on some driving routes specially selected to prove the performance credentials of the Model S.


Future Tesla models

♦  Model X: est price £60,000 to launch in 2015

♦  Model 3 (rumoured): est price £18,000 and launch expected in 2016

Tesla has also opened up its technology patents to all car manufacturers for free.

While it may seem like a risky move, the company hopes it will spur mass adoption of electric vehicles and Tesla will be well placed with its own expertise to take advantage.

Some manufacturers have already expressed an interest and Tesla already manufactures the electric versions of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and Toyota RAV-4. Daimler is also a small shareholder in Tesla.


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  • Stewart - 06/09/2014 10:00

    With the attitude this company has I trust that will be spectacularly unsuccessful in the UK

    • Mike - 06/04/2017 13:14

      I could not agree more