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Tesla expands UK dealer network

Tesla EV store illuminated signage

Tesla has expanded its UK car retail network to 25 sites in the last year and plans further growth in 2021.

The latest strategy represents a U-turn on company founder Elon Musk’s 2019 declaration that Tesla would close all its retail sites in favour of an online-only sales model.

Six new Tesla locations were opened across the UK in 2020, with new showrooms appearing in Newcastle, Winchester, Gatwick, Belfast, Birmingham and Chelmsford.

A new site in Glasgow is poised to open this year in a former Evans Halshaw Car Store showroom.

The Californian car maker says it has boosted its aftersales operation significantly and now has 15 service locations across the country, with more than 300 service team members.

This has led to a 130% increase in available service appointments and a 60% reduction in waiting times for appointments, according to the brand.

Tesla registrations have grown rapidly in 2020, with the Model 3 topping UK monthly sales charts twice during the year – once in April and then in December.

It totaled almost 25,000 sales last year, outperforming brands with established dealer networks such as Mazda, Porsche and Suzuki. However, the Tesla says it can speed up repairs using remote diagnosis and can perform a service four times faster than conventional garages, enabling it to operate with a smaller footprint.

The vast majority of sales are the Tesla Model 3 – Tesla insiders suggest the Model 3 accounts for approximately 90% of UK Tesla sales YTD. That makes the Model 3 the UK’s best-selling battery electric vehicle (BEV), and the UK’s second best-selling compact executive model behind the BMW 3 Series.

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