In South Korea today, a week after the official start of pre-orders in the country, Tesla announced a partnership with Shinsegae, the largest retailer in South Korea, to open its first store in the market and to deploy charging stations at 25 locations.
As previously rumoured, the first Tesla Store in the country will be in South Korea’s new Starfield Hanam mall. The mall, owned by the Shinsegae Group, is set to open next week, but Tesla’s store will not be in operation until later in the year.
The mall covers an impressive 5 million sq-ft and it is set to beat several architecture records in South Korea:
“the largest shopping mall as a single building in the country, the largest indoor parking lot, the largest scale of dynamic façade and the longest and biggest atypical skylights.”
You can see a picture above and here are renderings:
Shinsegae also owns several other retail brands in South Korea, like E-Mart, Chosun Hotels and Starbucks Korea. Tesla will deploy Destination chargers at 25 of those retail locations by the end of the first half of 2017, according to a press release.
The retail group says that Tesla is now considering other Shinsegae locations for future stores.
As we previously reported, South Korea is the world’s 11th largest car market and could become an important country in Tesla’s expansion plan. It largely favors domestic brands like Hyundai and Kia, but aside from the Soul EV and the upcoming Hyundai IONIQ Electric, the country’s electric vehicle options are limited.
Tesla will increase the EV offering in the country starting with the Model S in early 2017, followed by the Model X later in 2017. Appointments for test drive events will be available through Tesla’s new Korean website.