Tesla unveils first showroom in Catalonia
Innovative US car company opens first dealership in Spain near to Barcelona with another planned soon for the Catalan capital
Tesla, the innovative American car company headed by entrepreneur Elon Musk, opened its first showroom in Catalonia on Tuesday. The car dealership is located in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city next to Barcelona. The center is also Tesla’s first in Spain.
The car dealership will include a service center for car owners, a workshop and will also have some of the firm’s vehicles on show.
Two models will be available: the S and the X. The Tesla model 3 will become available in the stores next year. It is the company’s most affordable vehicle and can already be pre-ordered on the Internet.
“Once people get informed and check the charging network maps they realize that having an electric vehicle is more accessible for everybody”
Jorge Milburn · Tesla's director in Spain and Portugal
In the next few months, Tesla will open at least two new stores in Spain. One will be in Barcelona city center, at the crossroads of Rosselló street and Passeig de Gràcia. The other is planned for Madrid, and will be the first to open outside Catalonia.
Unlike the store in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, neither of these two showrooms will offer technical support. That means customers will have to come to Catalonia until a new dealership, which still has no date, opens in Madrid.
One of Tesla’s goals is to expand its network of superchargers — free charging points that can charge the Model S in a matter of minutes. There are currently 12 stations with 74 points all across Spain, four of which are in Catalonia. By the end of the year, the company aims to double that number.
In comparison with other countries in Western Europe, Spain still lacks an extensive network of superchargers. Yet, Tesla representatives say the network is probably more extensive than it might seem. “Once people get informed and check the charging network maps they realize that having an electric vehicle is more accessible for everybody,” said Jorge Milburn, the company’s director in Spain and Portugal.
Five billion euros in foreign investment
Tesla is not the only international company looking for business opportunities in Catalonia. In 2016, Catalonia received a record of more than €5 billion euros of foreign investment, according to data released by the Spanish ministry of economy in June. The positive trend has continued this year.
Another indicator of Catalonia’s good economic health is the amount of container traffic in Barcelona’s port. Container traffic reached 1.9 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, a widely used unit for cargo capacity) during the first eight months of 2017, a 30.2% increase in comparison with the same period last year. Barcelona’s port is the fastest-growing in Europe in terms of container traffic.