Fantasy in Real Time
Leaving the mall the other evening, my sons fluttered like moths to the beacon of the Tesla store. A Tesla store is, for all intents and purposes, a Tesla car and solar energy system dealership, and they reside in retail zones like malls. Regardless, for budding car aficionados like my sons, the store itself is a dream come true—a Hot Wheels fantasy in real time.
I’ll admit I’m not crazy about Tesla’s. Their design is sort of average for me. I’m a vintage and truck guy. I’ll take a 1968 Ford Mustang, a classic VW van, or a Toyota Tacoma any day over a new Tesla. But what I do like about the Tesla is their electricity. And my sons get it, too.
While they love the look of the car, shouting out, “Model S!” or “Model X!” when they see one drive by on the road, they know the cars are electric—that they don’t use gasoline. They also know that Mommy’s car runs on gas, and Daddy’s car runs on both gas and electricity. The boys have also come to their own conclusions about what it means to have an electric car—that it means not polluting the air with exhaust.
At the store, however, they don’t really talk about that. They simply wonder around the cars on the showroom floor, wide-eyed and smiling. They open and close the doors, they sit inside the cars, touch buttons, and caress the steering wheel.
When the hip-looking sales reps come by to ask if we have any questions, we tell them no, that our boys are just dreaming, that they love Tesla’s. We go on to say that the boys are their future customers. The sales reps laugh, likely knowing this is true—that while they may not make a sale right then, they’ve captured the minds of the next generation.