Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned that he is putting a lot of time into personally advancing Tesla service to make it “awesome.” Recent reports from China suggest that Tesla is indeed focusing on improving its service, even if it has to restrategize its operations to some degree.
As stated in a recent Reuters report, Tesla is reportedly looking to improve its service in China. The company has so far ramped its hiring of technicians and other staff for service jobs. This effort has been so notable that Tesla China’s recruitment website listed over 300 openings for service-related jobs as of Thursday.
Citing individuals familiar with the matter, the publication stated that Tesla is also considering closing some of its showrooms in locations like Beijing, particulary those in high-end areas. The company would instead be putting a lot of effort into building out stores that can also double as service locations.
A good number of Tesla stores in China are in high-end malls in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but some of these are in high-rent locations are not able to offer vehicle service or repairs due to limited space. This is true for Tesla’s first stores in Shanghai and Beijing. Overall, more than half of Tesla’s stores in China do not offer maintenance services.
Yale Zhang, managing director of Automotive Foresight, noted that Tesla would be wise to focus on building customer loyalty, especially since the company has already established itself as a legitimate premium electric vehicle maker in China.
“It’s not necessary to open showrooms in expensive shopping malls, especially when the repair business has become lucrative. It makes better sense to keep only one or two showrooms downtown to keep the brand positioning but move more to suburbs,” Zhang said.
Tesla does seem to be following this strategy in China. As per Reuters, more than half of the company’s showrooms in seven of China’s key cities like Shenzhen and Chengdu have been built in downtown areas. Some of these stores are located in less expensive suburban locations, and they are also large enough to provide service and maintenance to customer vehicles.