Here's to the crazy ones... How Tesla’s dealership network and Model S are revolutionizing the sedan market.
The introduction of the iPhone and birth of the smartphone has changed the world. What was once a rivalry between the grease based gear heads and nerds has since evolved to be one and the same. Automobiles are now so closely integrated to those mobile computers in our pockets that terms such as “where’s your Bluetooth?” and “hey, do you have a lightning cable I could borrow?’ are amongst commonplace daily conversations we all seem to have.
Luxury sedans have typically depreciated on a 10-15% annual curve. The pinnacle models such as the BMW 7-series and Mercedes-Benz S-class are typically a much more attractive option after two or three years of solid depreciation. Purchasing a certified pre-owned luxury car has become the norm.
Enter the Tesla Model S.
Tesla has faced a few issues, including production dates slipping and butting heads with journalists. No matter what, it may just be the best-looking luxury sedan on the market today. Starting at $77,800 and reaching $88,500 for the 85kW model, you’d have to look squarely at the same BMW and Mercedes lineups after a handful of years of previous ownership to bring them into a comparable price range.
Where you’d be looking at the dated traditional platforms from the gasoline makers, you’d be getting the latest and greatest from the pinnacle of automotive technology. The looks match that status too; it cannot be stressed enough that the Model S is an absolutely stunning car to look at.
Tesla’s notion of thinking out of the box doesn’t just apply to their product offering, it applies to their dealership network as well.
Dealerships in many ways are helpful when servicing and saving gas driving from manufacturer presence to presence. My opinion of dealerships and how they operate has been pretty public. I feel that customer experiences should be catered to the person and not a blanket policy applied to everyone.
Tesla has done such a model with their dealership, in this case referred to as their “boutique” located at the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto. Using Apple’s successful model, Tesla invites everyone inside to see what the company is all about. You can book appointments and unlike the typical dealership experience, someone will always follow up. Walk in and things seem familiar enough but refreshing at the same time. It’s the embracing of modern technology and using what has become familiar to every person to strike a cord.
Tesla uses such technology to offer software updates over-the-air (OTA) to their cars. What once required a trip to the dealership, appointments, shuttles, and whatnot has been relegated to the age of the dinosaurs and a broken model. Does this mean that Tesla embodies the future of the automotive industry? No one knows for sure. But what they’ve done so far is take the right steps to not only act, but to think differently.
Perhaps it’s not quite Apple per say that will end up changing the world, but another Silicon Valley start up that will leave the biggest impact. Audentes fortuna iuvat.