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Tesla Opens Service Center on Interstate to Lake Tahoe

Tesla Motors is opening a service center along Interstate 80 in Rocklin, CA which is a first in the region.
Under plans submitted to the city of Rocklin, Tesla will have more than 18,000 square feet of space at 4361 Granite Drive, near the Sierra College Boulevard exit off I-80. The site was opened in 2004 as a Kia auto dealership operated by Sacramento area Lasher Auto Group, but it closed only a year later.

Tesla?s Rocklin facility is being renovated

Rocklin is a small community of 58,295 residents in the Sierra foothills with a median income of $80,379, well above the Sacramento SMSA (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area) of $60,330 and much higher than the US median income of $50,914. Nearly 40 percent of Rocklin households have a yearly income greater than $100,000. Prime income for the Tesla buyer profile.

In April, Tesla announced a new service and loaner vehicle program. Tesla?s fleet of loaner vehicles will all be their high-end model. The program includes this amazing offer from CEO Elon Musk: ?The Model S loaners will be available for immediate purchase at a price that is lower by $1 per mile driven. If you like the service loaner more than your other car, we will happily trade in your Model S and you may keep the loaner. This ensures that the service fleet is constantly refreshed and gives customers the best optionality.?

Tesla Service Centers are Nationwide

?People will go a considerable distance to buy a vehicle if there?s a service center near,? where they live, said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of automotive consumer research website

Rocklin?s economic growth manager, Karen Garner said: ?I do think there?s a market here. Even consumers spending $63,500 to $100,000 or more would like to save several thousand dollars in sales tax.? Rocklin?s city sales tax is 7.5 percent compared to 8.75 to 9 percent in some communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, which have the nearest Tesla stores. This sounds like Rocklin is indicating the service center will include a showroom too.

Forbes notes that, in California, sales of the five luxury cars that compete most directly with Tesla Model S ? the Mercedes E-Class, the BMW 5-Series, the Lexus GS, the BMW 7-Series and Porsche Panamera ? are all down in the first half of 2013. Overall car sales in the U.S. and California are up significantly since 2012. More than 4700 Model S registrations have been recorded in California and at least some are coming at the expense of the competition. Nationally, Tesla?s Model S has matched the total sales of the Lexus LS, Audi A8 and Porsche Panamera combined.

 In California Tesla Competitors Sales Decreased in 2013

BSN drove to the new service center site to see what was happening. On the same street as Tesla?s service center; we found the San Ramon Boat Center, a high-end pleasure boat dealership, Camping World, a high end motor home dealership, the Niello Porsche dealership, a Land Rover Dealership, and a Mercedes Benz dealer. The Tesla Service Center will be in good company.

The parking area around Tesla?s facility is sufficient to install two Supercharger stations ? Tesla?s name for their battery recharging system. The service bay area is also large enough to have Tesla?s battery swap stations. Tesla says the Supercharger service will not cost anything for the life of the vehicle. They are projecting battery swaps will cost between $60 and $80 per each swap out.

Looking in the service center bay door, we saw workmen installing new hydraulic lifts for car servicing.

The projected opening date of the service center is in late September or early October. BSN will be there for the grand opening.