It’s been a busy few days for the folks at Tesla Motors, perhaps the busiest in company history. Last night, the company capped off an epic week that included a $226.1 million dollar IPO and the debut of its updated Roadster 2.5 with the grand opening celebration of its Newport Beach, California, dealership.
It’s Tesla’s 8th sales and service operation in the U.S. and 12th worldwide (the company’s 13th store was opened simultaneously in Cophenhagen, Denmark). Although the Newport Beach facility has already been open for a few weeks, that didn’t stop Tesla team members and invited guests from cutting loose. Libations flowed as fancy hors d’oeuvres circulated among the tanned and enhanced revelers and handful of new Roadster 2.5 models spread around the showroom floor. For the young and young at heart, Tesla set up a basic remote control car racing area in the back. Out front, guests were given Roadster rides along PCH. Overall, the mood was optimistic, upbeat — you might even say electric.
CEO Elon Musk was on hand, chatting and posing for photographs with owners and prospective customers. Musk also delivered opening remarks before handing over the keys to a new roadster buyer. Also working the crowd was Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief designer and veteran auto couturier.
Located on the Mariner’s Mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway in the heart of Newport Beach, the dealership is located across the street from the area’s swankiest yacht club, just down the road from several luxury and exotic car purveyors, including Bentley, BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari. It’s an impressive facility befitting its surroundings; fronted by gaudy neo classical columns, the enormous showroom space boasts soaring ceilings and yards of glass. No surprise a Rolls-Royce dealer occupied the space until 2008.
Located at 1100 West Coast Highway, the Newport Beach dealership is also the newest regional hub for Tesla’s mobile service squad, which offers house calls for customers. Technicians Tesla calls “Rangers” will travel throughout the southwestern U.S. to customers’ homes to perform annual inspections, firmware upgrades and other services.
By Edward Loh