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Tesla to establish European fleet team

Developed entirely in-house, the Model S offers performance on par with large executive sports saloons and a choice of three battery options offering ranges of up to 500km. Importation costs will lift prices higher than the $50,000 (£32,000) entry level offered in the United States, but Tesla said it hopes to keep European pricing competitive.

Global sales of 20,000 units are planned for next year. Small volumes, but enough to put Tesla on the map ahead of the 2015 Model X SUV and forthcoming even cheaper small executive car. As in North America, European showrooms will be located in high footfall areas, usually shopping malls, and from its network of service centres it will offer on-site servicing for existing customers for a fixed price.

The corporate sector is firmly on Tesla’s radar, too, with a specific fleet team due to be recruited early in 2013 including regional contacts and an in-house residual value specialist tasked with maintaining used prices. The team will have its own fleet of demonstrators, available to drive at conventions and on-site demonstrations for potential customers.

George Blankenship, vice president of sales and ownership, said: ‘It’s not that we don’t pay attention to what other people are doing, but we don’t want our business model or our customers to be driven by what others are doing. We want to do things for them that takes care of them the way we think they should be taken care of.

 ‘As we roll out our cars we want to make sure people can get great service and we’ll be opening service centres in areas where we don’t have stores. Service is our top priority.’ 

Click here for our first drive of the Tesla Model S

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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