Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk and a group of Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome. Tesla gained widespread attention with the launch of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, the first fully electric sports car.
The Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan was introduced in 2012. Prices for the Model S start at about $70,000, not including federal and state tax incentives for electric cars. The Model S has been well received. Consumer Reports is calling the Tesla Model S the best car it has ever tested. The Model S, earned a 99 out of a possible 100 in the magazine’s test. The Tesla Model S won the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year Award and Automobile Magazine’s 2013 Automobile of the Year. Tesla said it has sold 10,500 Model S cars in the first six months of 2013. Tesla is proving that if you make a truly unique and remarkable product and provide a great customer experience people will talk about it and do the marketing for you.
Unlike gasoline cars, an electric car doesn’t need oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, smog checks, etc., which are only needed if your car burns oil derived products. For an electric car, you don’t even need to replace the brake pads, because most of the braking energy is captured by the motor and returned to the battery.
Tesla Motors has huge ambitions. Tesla founder Elon Musk has said he envisions Tesla as an independent automaker, aimed at eventually mass producing fully electric cars at a price affordable to the average consumer.
Elon Musk has overseen product development and design from the beginning, including the all-electric Tesla Roadster, Model S and Model X. Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, in which electric vehicles play a pivotal role, has been one of his central interests for almost two decades, stemming from his time as a physics student working on ultra capacitors in Silicon Valley.
Tesla is breaking the rules of automotive marketing by not advertising in print and on television. Tesla cars are sold online and through stores in upscale shopping centers like the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey. The stores create an experience where customers can ask questions without high pressure sales tactics. They have caused a controversy by bypassing a traditional dealer network. Tesla currently has 35 stores and is planning to expand to 50 in the next couple of years.
Tesla is building its brand through great product, social media and publicity. Tesla is building a brand with a strong reputation. Fascinated media has done much of Tesla’s Public Relations.
Have you test driven a Tesla Model S?