Earlier this year, we reported on Tesla job openings in Spain revealing that the California-based automaker plans to soon expand its retail presence to the country with new stores in Madrid and Barcelona. Spain was only one of few countries in West Europe where Tesla wasn’t officially selling its cars or where it doesn’t have a retail presence.
Today, Tesla officially opened Model S and X sales in Spain ahead of the market introduction. The expansion of Tesla’s vehicle business in the country will happen alongside the introduction of its energy products, solar and home battery packs.
While a large country, Spain is not a very big automotive market, but it’s still a significant market in Europe. The recent economic crisis was hard on the country’s automotive market, which took a long time to grow again, but it grew 42% since 2012 to reach just over 1 million new car sales last year.
The problem is the market for large luxury vehicles, like the Model S and X, doesn’t represent a significant portion of those 1 million cars.
Local news outlets (Spanish) reported that the company expects battery packs and solar products to represent an important part of Tesla’s presence in Spain while vehicles sales aren’t likely to become significant until the Model 3 makes it to Europe.
Tesla is partnering with local renewable energy product installer Bornay in order to install and distribute the Powerwall.
Spain has one of the highest average electricity rates in Europe and therefore, there are opportunities for the combination of solar installations and energy storage to be economically viable and accelerate the deployment of solar energy in the country.
First deliveries in Spain are expected at the end of the first quarter 2017 and the stores and service center during the “latter half of 2017”.
Update: Tesla sent us the following press release about the expansion in Spain:
Tesla continues to deliver the safest, quickest and longest range electric vehicles of any kind by launching Model S and Model X in Spain, the latest market to join Tesla’s rapidly growing network of developments.
Starting today, Tesla welcomes Spanish customers to visit the online design studio and order the Tesla vehicle that best suits their lifestyle. First orders of Model S and Model X vehicles are expected to arrive as early as end of Q1 2017.
Tesla has confirmed both Barcelona and Madrid as the first locations for stores and service centers. Opening in the latter half of 2017, these sites will address the growing demand for Tesla vehicles across the Spanish market.
Tesla enables seamless and convenient long distance travel throughout Europe’s most popular highways and routes with the extensive Supercharger and Destination Charging networks. Around the world, Tesla owners have already driven over 3 billion miles without a single drop of gasoline. As Tesla continues to expand globally, Spanish customers can help accelerate the journey to the next billion.