While I've always tried to document things with a journalistic mindset, complete with confirmations and research, this being small and unprofitable also gives me the freedom to editorialize when events warrant it.
I feel like events warrant it.
(CLICK HERE for an update on the Ross Park Mall location.)
some in the weeks just ahead of the announcement) and then close those locations rather than wind them down as the leases came up. At a minimum, it would have given the affected employees a clear road map to transition elsewhere in the company (or out) and have been some attempt to maximize the upfront costs of the leases and fixtures. The property owners are going to have a field day when Tesla tries to buyout the remaining time on the leases, if they're even given the option.
When we watched the store open in 2016, it was an exciting time full of growth and opportunity for everyone. Not only was it a beachhead in Pittsburgh as our local crew moved from standing around in the hallways of the mall into a storefront of their own, but it was an implied promise from Tesla that we'd be getting a service center as soon as the market grew to earn one, which it eventually did in 2017. The company loomed large and actually looked to be taking over the world... for a little while.
Something changed. Not sure what, not sure when... but something changed.
Speaking of price cuts-- and I hope I'm wrong about this-- Tesla seems to be letting the S/X wither on the vine. The price drops on the 3 are necessary to realign the model range in light of the $35k starting price, but the huge drops on the S/X were way in excess of any perceived savings from closing retail locations. Add in their hobbled charging (with the debut of V3 Superchargers) and lack of updates-- there's still no rear seat armrest in the S, hilariously-- and I can't quite figure out what their plan is, other than maybe it's a fire sale to clear out old parts. Model Y is scheduled to debut in a week... if there isn't a "one more thing" update to the S/X to explain their clearance pricing and stagnating configurations, I'll be truly bewildered.Quick drive-around the Wexford service center ahead of the big delivery weekend. Truck was being unloaded, multiple cars in mid-delivery and the back lot (barely visible) is packed. #Tesla #deliveryhell #pittsburgh @Tesla @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/ZvFmXEDCDV— Tesla Pittsburgh (@TeslaPittsburgh) September 28, 2018
Tesla continues to move fast, but I feel like they're leaving behind some of their best people and products and putting all their chips on the Model 3's online sales is a large wager. Even if they pull this all off, the personal devastation caused to their loyal employees is real. Those fortunate enough to keep their jobs would be wise to start exiting as soon as they get better prospects. I certainly could not trust my family's financial future to a salary from Tesla; management is a far greater threat to job security than any of the "enemies at the gate" funded by oil companies and legacy automakers.
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