By on October 28, 2014

Iowa Tesla Model S

Iowa may be one of the few states where Tesla itself can’t directly sell its vehicles to the public, but it doesn’t mean owners can’t at least promote the California automaker to potential customers.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports a group of Minnesotan Tesla owners drove to a local supermarket in Urbandale last weekend to give Iowans the opportunity to see the Model S first-hand.

One owner stated that the group aren’t fighting against the ban, but are about “sharing new technology” up-close with those who might otherwise view the vehicles from afar.

The group also gave test drives to would-be owners, something that the state’s government has also prohibited Tesla from conducting on its own.

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14 Comments on “Minnesotan Tesla Owners Offer Test Drives To Potential Customers In Iowa...”


  • avatar
    theupperonepercent

    There is a concerted effort to stifle American innovation.

    I saw a video of a 1950 Cadillac that used its spare tire to park sideways in a parking spot mechanically. GM had automatic parking before Lexus did. Now the American innovator is being crushed by laws and foreign piracy.

  • avatar
    SlabSheetrock

    Even with no direct sales outlet here in Iowa, I’ve still seen more Teslas than I thought I would. There are at least three Model S running around Cedar Rapids (this isn’t LA; noteworthy cars tend to stick out– the few Ferraris, Bentleys and Panameras are easy to spot, too– one guy even has a Roadster and a Model S (it’s neat seeing the S in the winter on Blizzaks.)

  • avatar

    Michigan isn’t too far from Minneesota.

    Maybe we’l read about the user group going there too!!

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    This speaks to a question I’ve had regarding states like MI banning factory owned stores for autos. Given the evangelical zeal of some Tesla owners, could Tesla skirt those bans by granting franchises to a limited number of true-believers in those states? Tesla would effectively remain in control via an iron-clad franchise agreement that kept the store operating exactly the way they want, with the franchisee paying and making token amounts of money to satisfy the notion of a franchise contract.

    • 0 avatar
      bimmermax

      Eventually Tesla will have to go to a franchise model. The cost of building enough factory stores to properly serve your clientele is prohibitive.
      Lexus is proof that you can have franchises with great customer care. you just have to mandate it in your franchise agreement.
      The customer experience is not why Tesla doesn’t have franchise stores. Musk simply doesn’t want to share the margin in his cars right now. Tesla is losing money as it is. Without the EV credits they sell, they would look like a bad investment right now.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        This is why the Potemkin village dealership franchise could work for Tesla. They spend no more money on the stores than they would without the franchisee, the contract gives corporate all the control they want without having to share any profit margin, and they satisfy the letter, if not the intent, of the law.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        It isn’t the cost of building the dealerships that’s the problem, it’s the logistics of managing them. As a car company gets larger & more complicated, an entire division/subsidiary would be necessary to run that side of the business, and it would be ill suited to meet the demands of the local area.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Does Tesla provide referral incentives?

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Interesting. Race boat owners do such thing to entice people to buy into their class, but what do the Tesla owners’ interest? If they have some incentive from Tesla for doing it, are they reporting it on their taxes? I mean, these are folks that spent $100K on a car, and those folks are not really known for hanging out in mall parking lots.

    • 0 avatar
      SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

      They have interest in having the car maker succeed. Not only does its survival directly affect the resale price, but also availability of super chargers, battery changing stations, and free software updates.

      Besides this, there is a collective feeling of sticking it up to the big guys by purchasing a Tesla. You reduce reliance on Arab oil, you stick it to the dealerships, you stick it to the Germans who think they rule the luxury class, the dealerships, and at last you stick it to the government who ban test drives run by Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      gsnfan

      Perhaps many of them are environmentalists?

      In addition, I have noticed that Tesla has a lot of fans, especially among the younger generation and those who are tech oriented c.f. the comic strip “The Oatmeal” writing columns extolling the virtues of the Model S. Perhaps these people are also Tesla fanatics (not blaming them, the Model S is an amazing car).

  • avatar
    redav

    Tesla cannot sell directly in Texas. Supposedly, they also cannot do test drives. However, they do have driving events where people can drive a Tesla and talk to Tesla experts. They can’t sell you the car, and they can’t talk about selling you a car. It’s not a test drive, but for all practical purposes, it is.

  • avatar
    drvanwyk

    Well this is cool. I’m from Urbandale and I used to work at that grocery store.

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