At this point, we’re accustomed to hearing all sorts of crazy news from Tesla Motors and knowing full well it should be believed. The latest announcement if pretty juicy and could, if issued a few months earlier, be mistaken for a suave April Fool’s Day joke. The California-based electric car company unveiled plans on Saturday to open a ‘gallery’ inside Nordstrom in The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles. The high-end department store will take Tesla for a test drive with a 400-square-foot gallery featuring the Model X, Tesla’s falcon-winged all-electric SUV.
Unlike most car makers, Tesla doesn’t sell its luxury electric vehicles through dealerships, which has caused the company a slew of problems across the country. Auto dealership associations, with the backing of state laws in many places, have worked hard to block the company from even setting up shop. Although Tesla has been able to successfully negotiate exceptions in a number of states, the company continues to look for innovative ways to reach new customers. This latest experiment is an attempt to do just that, by tapping into a steady stream of shoppers with the bank accounts to back up their high-end taste.
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Tesla’s presence at the Nordstrom in The Grove will span through the end of this year. At that point, Nordstrom officials will decide whether they want to continue the relationship. “We’re focused on listening to our customers and seeing how they respond to this type of differentiated experience,” Nordstrom said in a statement. The retailer has 121 stores in North America, as well as 200 Nordstrom Rack stores.
The funny part is, though, that although the Model X will be on display in the Nordstrom store, it’s not for sale there. That is, Tesla is still in the process of securing a sales license so the gallery can operate as a showroom. If a Nordstrom customer gets excited enough to want to purchase their own Tesla, they will have to jump through all the same hoops other prospective Tesla drivers face. Nordstrom employees will help, though, by connecting the interested party with an off-premises Tesla sales associate, or send them five miles down the road to the nearest official Tesla showroom. As a final option, the interested buyer could also do what any of us could do, which is visit Tesla’s website and place an order. It’s as simple as that, until the bill arrives.
Via Fast Company
Images via Nordstrom and Tesla Motors