The company dubbed the Apple Mac of the car world has officially conquered California, America's most important and trend-defining car-buying state, and now it has its sights firmly set on doing the same on the other side of the Atlantic with the opening of its first European production plant.
The latest figures from Quartz reveal that despite the fact that it is a small fish in a huge pond, Tesla not only is holding its own in the US but in California is already outselling many of its premium competitors. The numbers for June 2013 show that the Model S, a luxury four-door electric car with a range of up to 500km on a single charge and a price tag of $70,000, is currently in greater demand than Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, Volvo, Fiat and a number of US brands including Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln.
The company is compared to Apple because, like the computer and device maker, Tesla's customers become evangelists for the brand and as a result spread the word. As noted technological thought leader and erstwhile editor of Wired magazine Chris Anderson has said: "I think people who drive Teslas are getting religious in the same way that people got religious when they first used Macs, or experienced multi-touch. It's going to change everything."
The car has already become the must-have vehicle in Silicon Valley, where they can be found in Google, Yahoo and Apple car parks, and now the company is aiming to have the same impact on the other side of the Atlantic. The first European Model S deliveries began in July and now the company has officially opened its first European plant. The facility, located in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will assemble Model S electric cars for the French, Belgian, German and of course Dutch markets and is the first step towards a larger European operation that, according to the company's European sales director, Bryan Batista, Sales Director Europe, will see "15 Tesla stores and service centres opening across the continent over the coming months."