Tesla Motors has opened its first store in San Francisco, and it will be its largest North American sales, service, and delivery center.
The 65,000-square-foot, three-story San Francisco center has been built on the location that a Chevrolet showroom was built in 1937. It’s being targeted as a key retail center for marketing the upcoming Model 3.
Tesla says that San Francisco will be an ideal city to promote the more affordable Model 3. It’s a city where one-fifth of the residents don’t own a car and look to alternative modes of transportation such as Uber and bus and train rides.
“Model 3 reservations skew young and urban,” said Jon McNeill, Tesla’s president of global sales and service to Bloomberg. “What makes this our flagship store is that the Bay Area is really our home,” he said, referring to Tesla’s nearby headquarters in Palo Alto.
Tesla currently operates 260 locations and plans to have 300 open by the end of this year. The company intends to have 440 stores open by the end of 2017, when the Model 3 is scheduled to start deliveries.
“We are adding stores in new population-dense markets like Taipei, Seoul, and Mexico City, while also adding stores in our most mature markets like California,” Tesla said in a second-quarter letter to shareholders last week.
The company’s best-performing stores are in Calforinia, McNeill said.
The new Tesla store is located on Van Ness Avenue, near British Motor Cars, an independent dealer that sells Land Rover, Jaguar, Bentley and Lamborghini brand vehicles.
“Van Ness Avenue was traditionally San Francisco’s Auto Row, and it’s in the heart of the city,” said Kazuko Morgan, vice chairman of real-estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. “When you drive up Highway 101 from Silicon Valley, it ends at Van Ness. So it’s an ideal location for commuters.”