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Tesla plans West L.A. store

August 9, 2007 | 10:57 am

Lahyblogtesla500_4 The founding members of San Carlos, Calif., car company Tesla Motors plan to retail their cars through factory-owned stores much in the style of Apple Inc. 

The soon-to-be-available 2008 Tesla, a $98,000 all-electric sports car, will be sold in showrooms in Northern and Southern California by the end of this year. Menlo Park is the spot for the north, near the Stanford University campus in a building formerly leased by Anderson Chevrolet. The second store will be in West Los Angeles on Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of the 405 freeway.

At a recent Motor Press Guild meeting, co-founder and Chief Executive Martin Eberhard spoke well of the L.A. site's proximity to another iconic retailer, noting: "The L.A. store will be opened before the end of the year. It'll be on the property right next to the Starbucks. You can't miss it."

Retail salespeople for Tesla's eco-friendly cars will not receive the traditional monetary commission for selling these vehicles; rather, they will enjoy increasing profit sharing as reward.

With the innovative lithium-ion battery (the same type found in cellphones) that moves the Lotus-like roadster from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds, and the attention this company is getting from venture capitalists and celebrities, selling EV sports cars in L.A. could become a very lucrative venture.

Additionally, a second car, code-named Whitestar, is scheduled to come into the market as a 2009 model with a manufacturer's suggested retail price in the range of $50,000 to $60,000.

-- Joni Gray