On the heels of the first Model 3 deliveries, Tesla opens new showroom in Littleton
Littleton officials hope newsmaking brand attracts some attention in new digs
PUBLISHED: August 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm | UPDATED: August 1, 2017 at 10:40 pm
Electric car standard-bearer Tesla stepped into the spotlight Friday in its biggest arena yet: mass-market consumer cars. The first of the California-based company’s much-anticipated Model 3 sedans were delivered to owners’ driveways. Starting at $35,000, the Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable car yet and represents a calculated shift from creating luxury, niche cars to aspiring to become a major brand in the growing market for battery-powered cars.
Though it didn’t generate the headlines of the Model 3 roll out, Tesla also trod new ground in Arapahoe County. The company opened a joint showroom and service center Friday in the space formerly occupied by Schomp Automotive Group at 5700 S. Broadway. It is the newest Tesla facility in Colorado.
“Located south of Denver, the new 39,000-square-foot Littleton showroom and service center (will) help to serve the growing number of Tesla owners in the region,” the company said in a news release. It also recently opened a showroom in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. “Both Littleton and the Cherry Creek showrooms will showcase Model S and Model X while highly knowledgeable staff onsite focus on spending quality time with each interested customer and are on hand for test drives and vehicle demonstrations.”
Tesla is leasing the building on the highly-visible corner of Broadway and Littleton Boulevard. Customers who purchase vehicles there cannot immediately drive off with them, but the company promises delivery of inventory models within seven days.
Count Mayor Bruce Beckman among those jazzed about Tesla’s opening. A self-described “car nut,” Beckman pointed out that Tesla makes the fastest-accelerating sedan in the world. The mayor is also jazzed that a talked-about company is occupying such a critical corner in the city. Beckman considers the intersection a promotional platform of sorts.
“It’s just a really important spot for us,” Beckman said. “I’m glad to see the space did not remain vacant for very long and for something like Tesla to come in there is significant. It drives a whole new group of people to Littleton.”
Littleton Economic Development director Denise Stephens remembered talking several years ago with Kimbal Musk, co-founder of The Kitchen Bistros restaurants and brother to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, about opening a restaurant in the city. Maybe those chats helped Littleton attract the Tesla showroom and service center, she joked.
“I don’t think we could’ve asked for anything better,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to bring people in and show off all of the other amenities in Littleton.”
Tim Jackson, president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, thinks the new service center could attract traffic because Tesla has recently been dogged by poor vehicle reliability. The company came in 25th out of 29 automakers on Consumer Reports’ 2016 automotive reliability survey. Tesla has operated a service center on Evans Avenue in Denver but has said it plans to consolidate operations on South Broadway.