Aside from the fact that Tesla Motors manufactures four-wheeled vehicles, there are few things in common with most other automakers.
The way that Tesla Motors is set up is actually more like Apple Computers than, perhaps, Toyota Motor Sales. Tesla doesn’t sell via dealerships, which has gotten them into some flak in various states, launched by the automobile dealer associations. Even Tesla’s finances are calculated and reported more like Silicon Valley companies than Toyota City’s Toyota.
Advertising is another area in which Tesla Motors differs. It’s certainly not a question of money, Tesla Motors having paid back its Department of Energy [DOE] loans a full nine years early on a ten-year loan. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has said that electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S, couldn’t benefit from traditional automobile sales strategy. For a dealership of conventional vehicles to try and sell electric vehicles side-by-side with its conventional vehicles would be essentially shooting itself in the foot.
So, how does Tesla Motors do it? For one thing, think about this post you are reading. We are, in absolutely no way, affiliated with Tesla Motors [Where’s my paycheck, Elon?], but the technology is so compelling that we can’t help but tell other people about it. Word of mouth is actually a powerful form of marketing something as unique as the Tesla Model S, and it’s worked out pretty well for the company so far.
Image © Über Content