TechHive: What recall? Tesla recasts Model S problems as mere updates

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thumbnail What recall? Tesla recasts Model S problems as mere updates
Jan 15th 2014, 13:00, by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

DETROIT—Tesla's booth at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Detroit Auto Show is small: A tiny corner lot across the aisle from German giants Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Only three cars are on display: Two Model S's (one sporting a ski rack) and a Model S undercarriage. For the press conference, Tesla has erected a modest stage and set up two video monitors.

It's nothing like the other press conferences, which have acrobatic shows, celebrities, and bleachers to accommodate the press. But everyone is here, crowded around, sitting on the floor, and pushing through the throng to see what Tesla, the little boutique electric car start-up from Silicon Valley, will announce.

Jerome Guillen, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales and service, takes the stage. Guillen starts off praising the Model S, with its 5-star safety rating and no serious accidents (no casualties) to date, even though Model S drivers have logged over 168 million miles. He showed how Model S sales have taken off: In Q4 of 2013, the company sold almost 7,000 vehicles, 20 percent higher than its sales goals.

Guillen also pointed out the demand for Model S even in colder weather, because people appreciate the ability to pre-heat the vehicle. He mentions that the Model S is the best-selling car in Norway, a country that "knows something about winter." This could be an oblique response to last February's drama surrounding a New York Times writer's disappointing cold-weather experience with a Model S.

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