Tesla poised to open flagship store in Thailand

The world’s most famous electric vehicle (EV) company is gearing up to test Thailand’s market. Tesla will open a flagship store in the Kingdom this month, according to the Nikkei Asia Review. Thailand is the second largest Tesla market last year.

A Tesla spokesperson only told the paper that details would be forthcoming, while local media reported that Tesla was renovating a former Toyota showroom in the eastern part of Bangkok to serve as its newest EV entrepot, and its doors are set to open sometime soon.

“In addition to a showroom, the five-floor facility will include a service center, a parts warehouse and fast-charging stations,” Nikkei reported, adding that Tesla has been selling its Model Y midsize sport utility vehicle and its Model 3 sedan in Thailand since December through an online sales channel.

The Thai market for EVs is growing as the government and automakers are offering incentives and encouragement to car buyers to switch to EVs with the goal growing the market.  Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had expressed hope that half of all vehicles on Thailand’s roads would be EVs by the end of the next decade.

The government is also offering generous incentives for automakers to build EVs in the Kingdom. And, the Kingdom’s auto manufacturing sector is in the midst of a transition to becoming an EV production center, with Nikkei reporting last month that Thailand and Indonesia are emerging as Southeast Asia’s EV-building hubs.

Other firms in Thailand are engaged in battery manufacturing or starting to build charging stations and networks with the goal of expanding them nationwide.