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Tesla Popup Stores… Popping Up

Originally published on EV Obsession.

During a somewhat recent earnings call to discuss Tesla’s 4th quarter results, CEO Elon Musk made the comment that Tesla possess “a secret weapon on the demand side” that could “work against the dealers.”

Following that comment… Tesla has just revealed a mobile store concept that can be deployed directly from a storage container. Is this the “secret weapon” that Musk was referring to?

Tesla popup store

While there’s been some speculation that these mobile stores could be the “secret weapon,” it’s a bit hard to see how these would be particularly effective against anti-direct sales laws. Unless there’s something that I’m missing here?

Electrek provides more information and commentary:

There’s no known provision that can circumvent the regulations by using “mobile stores.” They are certainly a good way to test demand in areas where Tesla currently doesn’t have a presence, but it wouldn’t let Tesla offer test drives and talk pricing in states they are not allow to. The fact that these mobile stores were first previewed in Europe, where Tesla doesn’t face any problem with their direct-sale method, shows that the strategy is not meant to evade direct-sale laws.

In the US, Tesla’s first mobile store is debuting in Santa Barbara, California, and will move to the Hamptons, New York, next month. Two states in which Tesla is allow to sell, although under a limited number of stores in New York. This further demonstrate that they are not after the dealerships with this strategy.

I’m gonna agree completely here on those counts. I’m just not seeing the mobile stores as a “secret weapon” against the dealers. Interesting, nonetheless, and probably cheaper than setting up shop in a mall in many cases.

Hmm, then…. Wonder when we’ll find out what it is? Hopefully it lives up to the hype.

Image Credit: Tesla

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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