By Cadie Thompson, Business Insider
Tesla is about to significantly expand its retail presence.
Ahead of the Model 3 launch, the company is planning to add about 100 retail, delivery, and service locations around the world. This is about a 30% increase in facilities, the company said its first quarter investor letter.
As part of this expansion, Tesla opened its first stores in Dubai and South Korea during the first quarter.
The automaker plans to begin production of the Model 3 in July, but deliveries are not expected until late 2017. Tesla has received about 400,000 pre-orders for the $35,000 mass market sedan since March of last year.
Tesla is also planning to use these stores to make a big push for the energy side of its business.
The company said in its investor letter that it plans to roll out solar products in more of its stores.
"Recently, we tested sales of our solar and storage products in several Tesla stores, and saw sales productivity improve 50% to 100% relative to the best non-Tesla retail locations. Based on these results, we are working towards fully staffing more than 70 Tesla stores in the U.S. and abroad with dedicated Tesla energy sales people over the next two quarters," the company said.
Tesla's energy products include its Powerwall, Powerpack, and its solar shingles. The company has yet to officially launch it shingle products yet, but the company is expected to begin taking order sometime in May.
In November 2016, Tesla began rolling out its energy products in select stores. Tesla told Business Insider at the time that customers would be able to order Tesla's Powerwall in store and online. Previously, the only way to purchase the battery was on Tesla's website.