Coming to a city near you: Tesla’s ‘design studio,’ towed by a Model X

Inside every Tesla retail store is a design studio—a designated area where customers can customize their own Model S or Model X with mix-and-match color panels and add-ons like the super-fast “Ludicrous Mode.” Today, Tesla is launching a tour to bring six of its design studios, retrofitted onto Airstream trailers and towed by Model Xs, to cities across North America.

The first stop for the mobile design studios will be at New York City’s 1 Hotel Central Park, and customers can request other stops near them via Tesla’s website. The initiative is the latest play to help Tesla circumvent states’ strict (and largely outdated) dealership laws, many of which cap or prevent altogether Tesla’s ability to sell directly to consumers or build a more robust retail presence to help court them. In New York, for example, Tesla can only build five stores. Similar to Tesla’s stop-and-shop location launched in Nordstrom this summer, the mobile studios allow Tesla to contort around these regulations.

“There’s a playfulness to the way we think about sales,” Ganesh Srivats, Tesla’s North American sales VP, told Fast Company earlier this year. “This kind of innovation is just not going to be possible if we don’t have a direct sales model.”

The studios will continue traveling throughout North America into next year, with stops lasting from a weekend to several weeks at a time.JJM