After owning my roadster for some time now I have a couple observations about Tesla Motors. I have a couple friends who are engineers for Tesla and there seems to be a growing sentiment of engineering vs cost. In other words the bean counters are firmly in control. I have a feeling this will adversely effect future product development and they will be built to meet a certain cost rather than be engineered to push the envelope of what people think of when they think "EV." I can understand this is necessary to a certain extent when Tesla is trying to run a profitable business, but with the onslaught of EV's potentially coming into the market in the next few years, it seems like a bad idea to put out a stellar first product like the roadster and then have a bunch of lesser vehicles that will face stiff competition.
The "Company Store" model of Tesla motors cannot continue in its current iteration. Right now the boutique nature of a Tesla dealership works ok for a low volume sports car, but when the mass appeal models come out it will be impossible for Tesla to keep up with demand with its current dealership model. Tesla will have to "partner" up with higher volume dealers (as Fisker has) in order to maintain some semblance of customer service. It was a bad move in my opinion to go with this type of "Apple Store" model. When a person is looking to trade their ICE vehicle in for a Tesla Sedan how is that going to work? There is barely enough parking for 5 cars at my local Tesla Dealership with no room to expand. I really do not think these mass market Tesla EV's can be pushed through their current dealer network. Furthermore most of the customers who purchase a current Tesla Roadster have done tons of research and have pre-ordered months/years in advance. This will not be the case for the "mass market" EV's that Tesla plans to release. The store model that Tesla currently has looks to be brilliant on paper but in reality I do not see how it can be a functional "volume" dealership. Maybe Tesla will lease a bunch of warehouse space within close proximity to their dealerships, and buyers will be whisked away to these warehouses to select their car and complete the transaction.
The sales staff (at least the staff I have dealt with) really does not have much experience with car sales. I think at some point an experienced staff of sales people will have to be hired in order to sell these cars.
The more I think about it the more I feel that Fisker made the right move with regards to dealership network strategy.
Any ideas on how all this will work?