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Tesla celebrates new service center, revamped showroom in Costa Mesa

Tesla Motors held a grand-opening ceremony Thursday for its new service center and revitalized showroom in Costa Mesa's business district near John Wayne Airport.

For the past few years, the Palo Alto-based electric car company has been operating out of a 10,000-square-foot facility at 3140 Pullman St.

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Within the past year, however, Tesla decided to expand by taking over another building at 3020 Pullman and adapting it into a 27,000-square-foot service center.

The first location will now have a different purpose.

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"We outgrew this place, which is why we strategically prepared it to become a showroom and delivery center," said Jeremy Snyder, general manager for Tesla's Southwest region.

During the grand opening, potential customers came in to glance at Tesla's Model S, an innovative electric sedan that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.

Snyder noted the model's storage space in the front — where a gasoline engine would otherwise be in most standard cars — as well as the trunk. The ample trunk space, he said, can even be adapted to seat two small children, making the sedan capable of mini-van-like seating for seven people.

Other attendees were en route to taking home a car Thursday, listening to instructions on how to charge their vehicles.

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The new service center has 14 repair lifts. Snyder described the facility's goal is to have work done in hours, not days, with the speed of an "F1-style pit crew."

Tesla's expansion marks another successful venture for a part of Costa Mesa nicknamed "Auto Mesa" because of its proliferation of car-related businesses. Snyder said with the expansion came new jobs; now the two facilities employ about 30 people.

There's another small addition visible from the Pullman sidewalk: power stations for the cars.

The Costa Mesa service center will be open seven days a week, with longer hours and a closing time of 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Tesla will continue to operate its sales centers at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, as well as locations in Mission Viejo and Brea.

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