Around The Corner From Cinnabon


In what I predict will end as an idea whose time has not come.  Tesla Motors, which until now manufactured upscale (expensive) electric vehicles, has been opening stores in shopping malls during the past several months.

According to George Blankenship, who helped create Apple’s retail stores and now leads Tesla’s sales strategy, the objective is to engage people when they aren’t thinking about buying a car.  Imagine, you are shopping for nuts and candy at Buddy Squirrel, when you spy a “must have” $100,000 Tesla across the aisle.  Now imagine the person who could afford a Tesla push their way through bands of roving teenagers and power-walking seniors in order to get to the dealership only to have to wait for all the “lookie lous” with cinnamon syrup dripping from their fingers to get the hell out of the way.

There’s also the small problem of manufacturer owned dealerships.  Most states have laws prohibiting them. In fact, Chrysler was forced to sell off their flagship Los Angeles dealership last year because it violated California franchise laws.  The National Automobile Dealers Association is up in arms over Tesla’s move as well, fearing this might give other manufacturers ammunition to take similar steps despite the laws.  But since Tesla does not have a network of franchise dealers they may be able to skirt the issue.

Tesla has plans to introduce two new models including a “Crossover” priced 40% less than  current models.  Perhaps mall locations can drive sales of cars in the $40,000 range, but I wouldn’t count on mall foot traffic resulting in more sales than the traditional stand alone showroom on auto row.  Of course I could be wrong.  After all the “traditional” showroom sales model has changed quite a bit since the 1930s and 40s.  Enjoy!

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About wizardwalter

After more than 35-years refining the craft of ad writing I know a bad ad when I see or hear one. The majority of my time is split between consulting a select group of small businesses and creating effective ad campaigns for others. I look at the world first as a consumer, then as a marketer. Rather than bringing pre-conceived notions and snap answers to my clients, I bring a lifetime of experience based on trial and error as well as 20 years of successful sales management experience to the table. I have been an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin, has taught at the Wizard of Ads® Academy and speak to groups of business owners on ways to improve their advertising any chance I get. I look for business owners who have a burning desire to grow and a passion to make it happen. Then I help bring out their best. When I’m not working with clients, I’m usually researching, writing, recording commercials and viewing the world in a tree house down the road from Lake Michigan. I travel light and have easy access to Milwaukee Mitchell and Chicago O’Hare. If you’d be interested in discussing your situation let’s talk.
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