Tesla Motors Announces Chicago Showroom

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 3, 2009 9:35PM

2009_03_tesla_showroom.jpgWhile the Big Three grasp for lifelines from Washington -- due in part because they missed the trend shift toward fuel efficient vehicles -- new car companies are on the rise to fill the void for those looking for a "green" ride. Perhaps the most high profile of them will soon be setting up shop in Chicago. Tesla Motors, known for its sporty electric cars with six-figure stickers, will open a showroom and service center this spring at 1053 W. Grand Ave. The dealership will be Tesla's first one outside of California.

While Cars.com's Kicking Tires blog questions the locale, we think it makes sense. We're going to assume that Tesla's not going to have the dealer network of Honda or even BMW anytime soon. With one location for all of Chicago (and the Midwest), the Grand Ave. location does offer "convenient access from the suburbs and further afield" while at the same time remaining close to the toniest parts of downtown.

Even after Tesla introduces their lower priced sedan next year (MSRP around $60k) these are not exactly impulse purchases that require high levels of showroom foot traffic. And given that these cars aren't the type of thing you want the neighborhood mechanic fixing, the address should minimize time spent traveling to the dealer for service, whether coming from from Oak Park, Highland Park or Lincoln Park.

Photo: TeslaMotors.com