Tesla is set to open a flagship store in Bangkok, Thailand, as early as June. The five-floor facility, which includes a showroom, a service center, a parts warehouse, and fast-charging stations, will be located in a mall in eastern Bangkok.
The site previously hosted a showroom for Toyota, as per local reports. Kenichi Shimomura, principal at Roland Berger, noted that Thailand could be a test of sorts for Tesla as the company attempts to break into the Southeast Asian automotive market.
“Tesla sees Thailand as a test market for accelerating its expansion in Southeast Asia,” Shimomura said, as noted in a report from Nikkei Asia.
The opening of the flagship store comes as Tesla is looking to accelerate its electric vehicle sales in Thailand. The electric vehicle maker began selling the Model Y crossover and Model 3 sedan in Thailand in December, with the vehicles priced at around 1,960,000 baht and 1,760,000 baht ($56,500 and $50,700), respectively. This was a bit higher than comparable Chinese models that are offered in the 1 million baht range.
Despite Tesla’s higher vehicle prices, the Model Y and Model 3 have seen strong demand in Thailand. Model Y sales roughly doubled in March from the previous month to 1,034 units. That represents an impressive 17% share of Thailand’s EV sales, as per Autolife Thailand. These results were enough to make the Model Y the second-best-selling electric vehicle in the country, just after the BYD Atto 3.
The opening of a Tesla flagship store bodes well for the Thai electric vehicle market. Tesla is a global leader in EVs, and its presence in Thailand would likely end up boosting the demand for electric cars in the country. The presence of a flagship store could also be seen as a sign of confidence in the Thai economy, which could later help attract other EV makers, as well as other global enterprises, to the country.
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