All Scheduled to Open in 2012All cars companies like to pretend that they're different, but in reality, they mostly all stick to the same playbook. But Tesla is still a fairly small startup, and what they're trying to achieve is a lot harder than just making yet another gas-powered car, so they can't afford to play by the rules created by the big boys. That's why they started way up-market with the 100k+ electric Roadster; they knew that a new technology would be expensive and low-volume at first, so if they tried to make an inexpensive mass-market car, they would fail. They also can't afford a traditional dealership network, which is why their retail operations are more "Apple store" than "Ford dealership".
But little by little, they've been covering the globe with Tesla stores and service locations, starting with population centers where there's likely to be more potential Tesla customers. 10 more locations have just been announced for the fall.
The first store will open at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York on Friday, September 21st. [...] One week following the opening of Roosevelt Field, Tesla plans to open its first location in the Boston area at Natick Mall, followed by the opening of a second store in the Chicago area at Westfield Old Orchard. Additional locations are planned in October and November at Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus, New Jersey; The Mall at Short Hills, Morristown, New Jersey; Westfield University Town Center, San Diego, California; Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida; Tyson’s Corner, McLean, Virginia and Westfield Topanga, Topanga, California. Tesla will also open its first Canadian store at Yorkdale Shopping Center in Toronto, Ontario in November.
After this, Tesla will have 24 locations in North America and 34 worldwide. But that's just the beginning, as they're planning to keep expanding next year.
These stores are closer to an Apple store than a traditional dealership because they focus on allowing potential customers to get familiar with the products and to try them out at locations that have test-drive models available. They're not trying to stockpile a huge inventory and to have service points integrated with each store, which would increase costs tremendously.
If you want to see all store and service locations, check out Tesla's interactive map.