Tesla Birthwatch 45: LA Dealership Opens! So, Uh, Where Are the Cars?

tesla birthwatch 45 la dealership opens so uh where are the cars

I know it's a small point, but it's worth making. Of course, first you gotta party like its 1999! Automotive News [sub] follows the Tesla-friendly PR template, kicking-off their coverage by putting the Silicon start-up's failure to deliver ONE customer car into its improper context. "Close to the crawling 405 freeway and the congested corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards, the Tesla factory store makes a potent statement for gridlocked Angelenos to buy an electric car. Of course, Tesla needs to get its two-seat roadster into serial production to give its dealership something to sell. The company has 600 sold orders and a waiting list for 400 more, but only four production cars have been built. A development glitch with the Magna two-speed transmission has forced a rapid redesign of a one-speed transmission in collaboration with Ricardo UK Ltd." Not so rapid, Mr. Bond. But that's OK. Ish. "By December, Tesla hopes to have 300 cars built. At that time, serial production of 150 cars a month should begin, said Darryl Siry, Tesla vice president of sales, marketing and service." [emphasis added]. Meanwhile, you want to hear something funny, in a "we're not entirely drunk on Tesla Kool-Aid" kind of way? "The sales staff is salaried," Mark Rechtin reports. "Not commissioned."

Join the conversation
4 of 20 comments
  • BKW BKW on May 04, 2008

    Santa Monica/Sepulveda Blvds: Brandberg Motors Kaiser-Frazer / Hellyer Buick / Lausen Buick / Dealership gone, replaced by high rise. One block north: Paul A. Ziegler DeSoto-Plymouth / Building remains used as office building. It may be expensive today, but from the 1930's/80's it sure wasn't. The corner of: had two gas stations, a car dealership, a garage/used car lot/junkyard, a lumber yard, rancid old frame buildings, cheap bars, the RR tracks ran N-S-E-W. Time will tell if Tesla lasts any longer than what was there before.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on May 04, 2008

    Since speculation is cheap, I'll jump in too... Maybe Tesla is building a business to sell like the internet companies. Build a big business with investor's money, never turn a profit but have a working design, and then sell out to a big buyer who wants a turn-key business. I REALLY hope that they are in it for the long haul though b/c I want them to prove the viability of electric cars. 200+ miles is plenty for me to go see grandma who is 100 miles and two TN mountains away). Hopefully this will lead to the WhiteStar which I hope is not really a WhiteElephant. It's cars like the Volt (in four passenger form) and the Volt that will carry alot of us into the future. Electrics for short distances (

  • Cjdumm Cjdumm on May 05, 2008

    So the Tesla has fancy new digs. Apple has lots of fancy Class A Retail showcase/stores, and many of them have been there for years. But then, they manage to move plenty of product. Doesn't Tesla already spend enough on marketing hype? And don't they get enough (generally fawning) publicity for free? Tom and Ray Magliozzi were allowed to drive a Tesla (on a public road, no less, and with no company minder in the car either) for a recent episode of Nova on PBS. I've read (here) that there was only one working Tesla, but the one the drove was a different color from the one I've seen in stock PR footage. Tesla must have repainted it before the Tappet Brothers took it for a spin.

  • David Dennis David Dennis on May 07, 2008

    CJDumm, the Teslas there were prototypes (both the red one you see Martin driving and the black one Click and Clack get to drive. I would have liked to have heard more reaction from Click and Clack after the test drive, and sadly thanks to the short range, they couldn't have made it to Mexico. Incidentally, Production 1 (P1), now driven by Elon Musk, is black just like the one Click and Clack d rive, but the video admits all the cars shown in it were prototypes, and the presence of now-fired Martin Eberhard dates the video from long before P1 was even made. D