Showroom with service center aims to boost share in new Southeast Asian market
BANGKOK — Tesla will open a Thai flagship store as soon as June at a mall in eastern Bangkok, looking to accelerate its fast-growing electric vehicle sales in Thailand and catch up with Chinese rivals like BYD.
The U.S. automaker is renovating the site of a former Toyota Motor showroom, according to local media. In addition to a showroom, the five-floor facility will include a service center, a parts warehouse and fast-charging stations.
When reached for comment, a Tesla representative said details will be forthcoming.
Tesla began selling its Model Y midsize sport utility vehicle and its Model 3 sedan online in Thailand last December. Prices start around 1.96 million baht and 1.76 million baht ($56,500 and $50,700), respectively, higher than competing Chinese models that go for 1 million baht or so.
“Tesla sees Thailand as a test track for accelerating its expansion in Southeast Asia,” said Kenichi Shimomura, principal at Roland Berger.
Model Y sales roughly doubled in March from the previous month to 1,034 units, giving the model a 17% share of EV sales in Thailand, Autolife Thailand reports. The Model Y became the second-best-selling electric vehicle in the country, after BYD’s Atto 3, pulling ahead of earlier entries from China’s SAIC Motor group and Great Wall Motor.
Tesla test drives are already available at a dealership near the planned flagship store. Max, an engineer living in Bangkok who already owns two cars, including a Toyota Camry, said he is considering replacing one of them with a Model Y.
“I had decided that my first EV would be a Tesla,” he said.
Source: Asia Nikkei