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USA: Tesla opens in Westchester with Model S warmed up

Tesla Motors, with its new Model S sedan ready to begin deliveries this month, has expanded its retail network to The Westchester, the first new-edition design store on the East Coast.

The store features a hands-on exhibit of the Model S drivetrain, a design section where people can assemble the features of their car and a touch screen where shoppers can learn about how to charge the car, how far it can go under different conditions and other technological aspects of it.

“Our sales strategy is very different from the rest of the automotive industry,” said George Blankenship, Tesla’s vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience. He said Tesla encourages people to come in and browse, to experiment with the touch screen, and go home and think about it all. Their product specialists, not salesmen, work on salary, not commission.

Tesla is opening four more stores this summer in Santa Monica, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz., Portland, Ore., and Miami Beach.

The Model S was designed from the ground up as an electric car. Its predecessor, the Roadster, Tesla’s first car, was a two-seat sports car made in conjunction with Lotus Cars, the British manufacturer of sports cars. It cost more than $100,000, went 245 miles on a single charge and could go from 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds. The Model S will cost half as much, can seat as many as seven and is somewhat slower to accelerate, going from 0 to 60 in about 4½ seconds. It has a touch screen on the dashboard with wireless capabilities that allows for streaming radio, navigation and web browsing. There are three battery pack options and each can be recharged using any conventional outlet. Tesla said it has 10,000 orders for it so far
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