Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has started expanding into Europe, and it’s now moving into the hometowns of some of the biggest luxury car brands: BMW and Mercedes.
Tesla’s new European sales centers
Dorothee Tschampa of Bloomberg reports that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is planning to add new locations in Berlin and Stuttgart, which will bring the number of the automaker’s showrooms in Germany up to six. Stuttgart is actually home to Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. Tesla’s other showrooms in Germany are in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich and Hamburg. Munich is actually home to BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW)).
The automaker announced this week also that it will aggressively expand its Supercharger network in Europe over the next year.
Tesla versus European EVs
The European market will be different for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) because many Europeans are loyal to their home brands. However, Bryan Batista, who heads up Tesla sales in Europe, believes that the Model S will stack up very well to European brands, which have just begun rolling out electric vehicles of their own.
This week at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt, BMW showed off its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. The company also showed off the i3, which some had considered to be BMW’s answer to the Model S—until they actually saw it.
Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW) showed off its Audi plug-in hybrid A3 hatchback, which has a 31-mile electric only range. The company also showed off its Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid, which retails for $845,000. Not to be outdone, Mercedes also showed off an electric version of its SLS gull-wing sports car and has plans to start selling a B-class compact electric vehicle next year.
Tesla snags the attention of German automakers
Consumers and investors aren’t the only ones wowed by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S sedan. Volkswagen apparently purchased three of Tesla’s vehicles to study them and see how they work. Volkswagen engineers were impressed by the vehicles’ axle positioning and battery management system. U.S. automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) formed a special group to study Tesla and its vehicles earlier this year.
Also Daimler, which holds a 4 percent stake in Tesla, plans to use the company’s motors and batteries for its B-class vehicle.