Tesla Tries New Sales Footprint
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla, which makes sporty electric cars, is putting its stores in hip urban areas, not the usual suburban strip-mall milieu where most auto dealerships sprout. The company opened its 12th North American store and second in Southern California on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica on Friday. It's flanked by an Adidas store and Club Monaco, a trendy apparel seller. Parking is a block away in a public garage. "We are deliberately trying to engage with people when they are not thinking about buying a car," said George Blankenship, Tesla's sales chief, who previously worked in the store divisions of Apple and Gap.