Tesla sales magic works without advertising or a dealer network

Article by Anita Panait, on June 10, 2013

Despite having no advertising, ad agency, chief marketing officer or dealer network, Tesla Motors Inc. still managed to gain a reputation that keeps customers coming and its stock price rising. Tesla, which is co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is shying away from conventions of automotive marketing.

The carmaker has been selling its vehicles through stores located in upscale shopping malls and the Internet, instead of selling them via dealers.

Tesla currently operates 35 stores across the United States, Europe and Asia, and is planning to add 15 more in the next few years, according to the company’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Model S owner Connie Charney related to Advertising Age that at a Tesla store in The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey, people lean out their car windows -- including two men in a Bentley -- to take pictures of the vehicle.

He then remarked that that is “how cool” the Model S is. He noted that with Tesla Model S, one will feel like he is “part of something bigger, a new age of motor vehicles,” adding that Musk is his “hero.” Musk, who is behind SpaceX and PayPal, has been employing the art of customer persuasion to build a brand which reputation has already reached a new level.

Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson remarked to Advertising Age that the carmaker’s high-tech stores provide a setting for customers to ask questions without high-pressure sales tactics.

She added that Tesla does not intend to hire agencies or run ads in the near future. Tesla’s in-house marketing team only employs seven staffers, and an internal team operates its Web site, where orders can be placed directly. In contrast, Nissan Motor Co. spent $25 million to advertise its Leaf EV in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

Considered as an evolution in automotive engineering, the new Tesla Model S electric sedan is an amalgamation of performance, efficiency and safety. In fact, it has managed to earn the highest possible safety ratings while boasting of having longest range of any electric vehicle. Further, the new Tesla Model S just keeps getting better thanks to over-the-air software updates.

The new Model S is underpinned by Tesla’s own platform, which configuration allows for the placement of the battery on the floor and its distinct electric drivetrain underneath the electric sedan. These distinct placements have allowed the new Tesla Model S to have an extremely low center of gravity, thereby significantly reducing and minimizing the risk of rollover. Moreover, having a low center of gravity means greater levels of handling and performance.

The safe-worthiness of the new Tesla Model S – considered as one of the safest cars on the road -- is also thanks to the fact that it has no engine in the spot typically reserved for the engine compartment. This means that its crumple zone is much larger than other performance sedans, allowing it to better absorb the energy from a front end collision. In fact, the safety record of the Model S has been proven by its high ratings awarded by Euro NCAP and the NHTSA. In addition, the Model S has broken the record having the lowest risk of injury to occupants following tests in the United States.

Furthermore, the new Model S is laden with an array of standard active safety features like automatic emergency braking and collision warning. Also standard are blind spot detection and lane departure warning. Meanwhile, offered as optional convenience features for the Model S are autosteer, autopark and summon as well as traffic-aware cruise control.

Topics: tesla, advertising

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