Electric car pioneer Tesla to open NZ store

A Tesla retail store in Florida (Getty)
A Tesla retail store in Florida (Getty)

Tesla says it will open a store in New Zealand next year.

Until now, New Zealand Tesla owners have had to import the electric vehicles themselves.

But Tesla says that in response to "overwhelming demand" it will open a showroom and a service centre as early as the second quarter of next year.

Tesla also says that from next month, New Zealand customers will be able to order cars online.

Tesla is also planning sites for its superchargers.

The company says it will soon begin hiring staff for the showroom and service centre. It's looking for people who are passionate about sustainable energy.

The Tesla showroom will feature the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. There will also be information about the more affordable Model 3, which is due for release late next year.

Tesla says the retail site will also feature its Powerwall and Powerpack products. The Powerwall is a battery for home use, and the Powerpack is a rechargeable battery designed to store power off the grid. The products are already available in New Zealand through Vector Energy.

The announcement came hours before Goldman Sachs downgraded its outlook for the Tesla share price from "buy" to "neutral".

That saw Tesla's share price fall 3.5 percent in early trading.

Goldman Sachs is concerned there could be delays to the delivery time of the mass-market Model 3. It is also worried about Tesla's cash flow.

The investment firm has cut its six-month target price for Tesla from US$240 to U$185.

Tesla is trading today at just over US$201.

Newshub.

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