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Discussion in 'Canada' started by andrewket, May 4, 2014.
There are no tesla dealerships. There are tesla owned galleries.
While not a 'dealership' as we traditionally know it. This location is pretty close to it. It has a large showroom, delivery area and service area. It is a free standing building with a large lot. This was a former Lamborghini dealership and it is quite unique in the Tesla world.
.... and FIAT call them STUDIOS. :wink:
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck and... well, you get the picture.
- independently owned franchise
- large inventory of new cars available for immediate sale
- commissioned sales staff
- masters of the "upsell"
- Owned by the manufacturer
- No new cars available for immediate sale - though they will assist you with placing your web order
- No commissioned sales, just technical assistance for potential owners and the generally curious.
- Many have reported Tesla staff have actually convinced buyers NOT to get specific options, saving them money on something they wouldn't use much.
If Tesla galleries were definable as "dealerships", then why would the USADA be so worried about them?
Hmmm ... I'm going with "not a duck".
Not to mention dealerships are most often attached to service centers which are the REAL profit centers for the owners. Not the case with Tesla.
The particular Tesla Gallery in question does have an attached Service Center as it is housed in a building formerly used by a traditional dealership -- that was the point of the "duck" parallel.
Fair enough, but (my opinion) if I were to list the top things that define the auto dealership model in my mind, "attached to service center" wouldn't make that top ten.
Interestingly, most of those who insist that the Toronto location is NOT a dealership are writing from locations far, far away from Toronto, while those of us who are in or near Toronto say that it at least LOOKS like what most would consider a dealership. I'm fully willing to concede that dealer associations are the Spawn of Satan and Tesla is firmly on the side of the Angels, but the Toronto location does at least quack and its feet are suspiciously webbed!
Well, I suppose you could just repeatedly assert your correctness, but that isn't really much of a response. Maybe counter the points put forward with a reasoned rebuttal?
So ... are Tesla gallery staff commissioned salespeople?
There's dealership as defined above (independent franchise, etc.) and then there's dealership as in "the place you go to buy a car". Until Tesla, they were usually the same. I got a good example yesterday of how we tend to use them interchangeably: the plates on the loaner I got from the Mississauga SC said "DEALER" on them
When people talk to me about how cool my Tesla is, and then ask me: "Is there a dealership somewhere where I can check them out?" I suppose I could whip out charts and graphs and reasoned point form expositions about how Tesla is NOT a dealership structure... or I can simply say: Yeah, they have a nice place in Toronto on Lawrence Avenue East."
It is a place where I can see various Tesla models on display. I can talk to Tesla employees about the vehicles, and they will run through every step of the order process with me there at that location. When the vehicle arrives, I pick it up at that location, and they run through the various aspects of the vehicle's operation with me before I leave the lot. If I have an issue, I take it back to that location to have the issue fixed, and it is the location where the annual service inspections are done. I don't really care if the person who helped me place my order receives a commission or salary or hourly wage. I understand how the Tesla marketing model differs significantly from those of other vehicle distribution companies (and it continues to impress the hell out of me), but by every visible measurement, the Lawrence Avenue location fits the conventional image of a dealership.
For better or worse, words can have broader meanings than some are comfortable with. Kleenex is a name brand that is now used generically to describe a broad array of tissues that are used for a variety of purposes. 'Football' is a generic term used variously to cover the NFL, CFL and in 90% of the world, soccer. If you don't want to call the Toronto location a 'dealership', then fine. For me, there are much bigger nits to pick, and I'll save my energy for those.
Dealership does have a bad connotation so it really only takes 5 seconds to educate that person Tesla not only makes a new vehicle but they sell it in a different way. I just say "Actually Tesla sells direct from stores much like Apple..."
I usually say "Tesla has a company store in Toronto". It's the fastest way to clarify the information without making a big deal about it.
You are right though, there are bigger issues and if calling it a dealership feels right to you that's really not a big deal.
(just got a warning to lengthen my message, thus this statement)
As much as it may seem picky, I really see it as an opportunity to broaden the conversation when someone's interested in the Tesla. One can point out that the company has acted as a market disruptor in so many different ways.
If someone asks me enough questions, anyone interested enough will get to asking "so where can you buy these cars". To which I'll respond with something like ... "Oh, well you can just order it on the web, but if you want to see the car, chat with people that really know it and set up a test drive, then they have a storefront at ___". This can then lead into further discussion about how it's NOT a place where some sleazy salesperson will immediately fly into 'deal mode' the moment you walk in the door. Let's face it, most people have some pretty strong negative experiences with the typical dealerships. It's nice to present a fresh take on the whole buying experience.
Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily call it a dealership, it just's a colocated store and service center. I presume they colocated because a convenient space happened to be available, not because they want to colocate. In retail terms it's more of an "outlet".
This is one of the most annoying things on TMC. Say the word "dealership" and you have the Tesla cult members all correcting you. Enough already! Everyone on here knows that Tesla has company owned stores and no franchised dealerships...