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Dec 23, 2012 NEWSwire
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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla 'gallery' showroom, technically, doesn't sell cars, it just displays them.

Tesla's Non-Sales Sales Model

Car dealerships don't like it, but Tesla's marketing and sales model is working by not 'selling' cars.

Published: 23-Dec-2012

If you are waiting with bated breath for electric vehicles to revolutionize the transportation sector, you are likely to pass out. If it happens, it will not be an overnight process. That said, there is significant momentum behind the nascent industry. While sales of purely electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are still minuscule compared to those with internal combustion engines, the 16 EV models on the market today will grow to 40 over the next two years and the 42 PHEVs models will grow to 73 by 2014.

Every major carmaker is putting considerable resources into electrification, but one of a few purely EV startups — Tesla Motors — is shaking up more than just the drivetrain.

Tesla began opening its retail stores and smaller format “galleries” in 2008. There are currently around 25 of them in North America. Visitors (both perspective owners and curious browsers) can learn about the cars, sit inside one and in some cases take test drives and place a reservation for their very own. Not unlike Apple stores, these spaces are high-touch and modern. But they’re also rattling the foundation of how cars have traditionally been sold, and as a result, Tesla is being sued by the dealership franchise organizations in Massachusetts and New York and is under the threat of lawsuit in at least two others.

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