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A strip of South Broadway in Littleton lined with car dealerships just got its newest player: Tesla.Known for its all-electric cars, Tesla expanded its Colorado footprint to a Littleton location where Schomp Automotive once lived. Schomp moved to an area north of C-470 in Highlands Ranch last summer.Tesla opened its doors at 5700 S Broadway on July 28, weeks after the release of its latest, lower-priced car. Model 3 — touted as a safe and affordable electric car starting at $35,000 — is now available to the masses. The model will be delivered to customers in 12 to 18 months, Tesla's website says.Littleton is thrilled to have the “noteworthy” company, said Denise Stephens, the city's economic development director.“They will undoubtedly attract many people to their facility,” Stephens said, “and we hope those people will explore and enjoy the other amenities in the community.”The 39,000-square-foot location — which encompasses two buildings on the busy corner of South Broadway and Littleton Boulevard — includes a showroom and service center. The showroom marks the company's fifth in Colorado. Others include Vail, Aspen, Cherry Creek and Lone Tree, the first to open in 2011. The service center is the second in the state, with the first on Evans Avenue south of Denver.The Littleton showroom will showcase Model S, a sedan, and Model X, an SUV, a media release from Tesla says.Littleton Mayor Bruce Beckman said the company is well-aligned with the new location.“For many years, it was the home of Schomp BMW and it was known as a place where people came and looked at quality cars,” Beckman said. “It's kind of fitting that Tesla comes in — they are at the forefront of technology.”Founded in 2003, Tesla builds futuristic-looking, all-electric vehicles. Awarded Motor Trend's 2013 Car of The Year, Tesla's sedan, Model S, “drives like a sports car” and is “as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius,” Motor Trend says in its report.A self-described car person, Beckman called the dealership a “technological test bed for what may be the foreground of cars in the future.” He looks forward to the new crowd that Tesla's showroom brings to Littleton.“They will end up seeing what a wonderful community it is and find other things that interest them here,” Beckman said.
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