Tesla Motors Inc. plans to open over 30 new service centers and stores in Europe, expecting a surge in sales in the region and Asia. Tesla said in a statement that it expects combined sales in Europe and Asia this year to be almost twice those in North America. The electric-car maker plans to launch right-hand-drive versions of its Model S sedan in the United Kingdom and offer leasing and financing programs in Europe.
"Growing international sales is a crucial part of the plan for the Tesla, but it won't be easy," said Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis for consultant AutoPacific Inc. "Both in China and Europe, many potential customers may not have access to charging infrastructure that's as good as here in North America."
Tesla expects more than 55-percent climb in global sales in 2014 and disclosed plans to invest up to $5 billion to build what it dubs a "gigafactory" in the United States. The facility would allows the carmaker to produce cheaper versions of its cars, allowing it to double its global market share to about 1 percent, remarked Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst.
In 2013, Tesla delivered nearly 22,500 battery-powered Model S, which has starting price of around $71,000 in the US. Tesla is now selling its electric cars in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, according to the carmaker's Web site.