Tesla is apparently planning a significant expansion of its service capacities. Information leaked to a US publication shows Elon Musk’s management team has announced to employees that it plans to open at least one service centre per week in 2021.
The report comes from the US website Electrek, a generally reliable site when it comes to matters concerning Tesla. Since the launch of the Model 3 and the opening of the Gigafactory 3 in China, Tesla has grown rapidly and the electric car manufacturer has now sold over one million cars. During this period, the expansion of the company’s own service network has not been able to keep up with sales, which has led to long waiting times for customers in some cases.
According to the report, the number of service centres has risen by 12 per cent in the past 12 months and the fleet of mobile service vehicles by eight per cent. If the deliveries of the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first three quarters of 2020 are added together, over 430,000 new Teslas were put on the road during this period, an increase of around 50 per cent.
If the information from Electrek is correct, and Tesla does indeed open a new service centre every week in the coming year, this would obviously mean 52 new service centres. At present, there are 466 service centres worldwide, but with 518 service centres (not counting further openings this year), the number of service centres would only increase by around eleven per cent, i.e. at about the same pace as before.
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Since Tesla deliveries are expected to increase by more than eleven per cent in 2021 (including Model Y production in China and Grünheide), even with one new service centre per week, the ratio of service centres to vehicles sold would actually deteriorate.
The new service centres are apparently to be located where Tesla already has a high demand for its vehicles but does not yet operate a site. Jerome Guillen, President of Tesla’s automotive division, recently said that the company was already looking for suitable properties.
In Germany, Tesla has opened new service centres in Hanover, Cologne and most recently Hamburg since the end of 2019. In Hamburg, however, the new centre in Wandsbek replaced an existing service centre.
According to another report by Electrek, Tesla is testing a new pricing model for its superchargers in California in order to cushion load peaks with significant discounts. Several Tesla customers would have received a message offering to charge on selected superchargers before 9 a.m. on 31 October and 1 November for only 9 cents per kWh and after 9 p.m. on November 1. This is less than a third of the regular kilowatt-hour price at most Californian locations.