Too bad about the North Park (Dallas) location. I'm glad there will be one here, and reasonably close, but North Park is about the hardest to get to shopping center in the region.
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I want one in Spokane. Can't quite make it to Seattle on a charge. And I don't relish the thought of spending several hours recharging on the way, with nothing to do, and no way of knowing if the charger will actually be available when I get there.
288 miles from Spokane to Seattle. Roadster at 65 mph: Range 200 miles. If I use my 240v 40a UMC I get about 30 miles per hour of charging. Keeping 20 miles in reserve for detours I'd need to obtain 100 miles somewhere during the trip. That's just over 3 hours of charging.
If I drive 55 and only keep 10 miles in reserve, I'd need to obtain 288-245 = 43 miles, or just over an hour's charging, but I'd be scared to cut it that close.
Someone told me there is one charging station between here and Seattle. That, also, is problematic, since anything could happen even on the day of travel. And I do not have a smartphone, so once I leave home I cannot check unless there's a phone number to call.
If there were a few Tesla HPCs along the way, decreasing the chances of getting snookered on the road, and providing 50 miles, rather than 30, for an hour's charging, I might consider it. Probably not otherwise. And it's still a good 5 hours of driving, each way, plus charging time. Plus an overnight in Seattle, and dealing with Seattle traffic once in the city.
I'd rather pay mileage for the ranger to come here. But a service center here would really be nice. If Tesla wants to go mainstream and compete with Nissan, which has several dealerships in town, they'll need to have service centers in every city this size, especially by the time they're trying to sell a mass-market family car. Otherwise they won't even be an asterisk below Nissan's sales numbers.
I wonder if the wholly-owned-store model, as opposed to a dealership model, might hold them back once they get into higher-production, lower-priced cars. In the dealership model, third-party businesses provide the capital for the repair and distribution network, in return for some of the profit. In the wholly-owned model, Tesla itself must come up with the capital for stores. I wonder if this might result in too few stores, as people may be reluctant to buy a car that cannot be driven to the service center and back in a day. I can take my Prius in for service and the dealership gives me a ride home, and then picks me up later in the day. With the Roadster, I have to pay a lot of money to have a ranger come to my city. I accepted that because I wanted the car so badly. But would a potential Bluestar buyer feel the same?
The big upside of a dealership model is the attention to local market requirements that a local businessman will have. This advantage, though, can be overcome by giving appropriate autonomy to local store managers. Our Home Depot, for example, stocks parts to repair wood gutters and copper downspouts, which are not uncommon on old New England houses. It got these parts after local homeowners lobbied the manager, who realized there was profit to be made and got Home Depot HQ approval. I'm not sure, though, how much "local content" an auto dealership needs to play to--sponsor the right local charities, etc., but you're going to offer the same product everywhere.
Another benefit of small businesses is the close attention to customer satisfaction. Having your business--your money and livelihood on the line--really focuses attention on keeping customers happy. So far, Tesla seems to have done a good job with this, but it will be critical to Tesla's long-term success to instill this culture of customer service in each store and service center.
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