Thousands More Teslas Are Piling Up In Parking Lots

By automotive-mag.com 4 Min Read

The roughly 400 Tesla EVs that were sitting in the parking lot of a shuttered mall outside Saint Louis, Missouri might have been just the tip of the inventory iceberg, as more and more cars are being spotted by savvy internet users.

Thousands more, as it turns out. Besides the initial batch that the internet found sitting at the former Chesterfield Mall, several hundred Tesla-branded EVs are waiting to be delivered at the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, including some Cybertrucks, as seen in the video and Reddit post embedded below.

 

In Richmond, Virginia, an abandoned apartment complex parking lot is being used to store several more hundred yet-to-be-delivered Tesla EVs, as the Reddit post below claims.

 

In Germany, hundreds of car haulers travel daily from the American automaker’s Gigafactory Berlin to a former East German military airfield in Neuhardenberg to drop off newly built cars. According to the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung, the storage site is roughly 37 miles from the manufacturing plant in Grunheide and can accommodate up to 5,000 vehicles.

Satellite imagery posted on Google Maps reveals the scale of the inventory situation in Germany, as you can see below. A local resident of the Gusow-Platkov municipality said that they counted “40 car transporters per hour in the village, [so] 300 to 400 trips a day,” according to the Berliner Zeitung.

Tesla uses the former airfield to sort the newly built vehicles and plan their delivery.

 

This is the story with most, if not all the locations referenced in this story. The parking lots are used by nearby Tesla service centers to store vehicles that would otherwise not have room on their own lots. According to a report from local news station FOX 2 St. Louis, which investigated the Chesterfield Mall situation, there’s a Tesla service center about 2.5 miles away that can only store about 135 cars at any given time, including customer cars.

In the last quarter, Tesla had an excess of 46,561 vehicles that were sitting unsold in inventory. That’s about 10.7% of its total production. By contrast, the company had an excess of approximately 2% for 2023 in its entirety, so it’s clear that these yet-to-be-sold cars have to be stored somewhere. That somewhere are parking lots in all kinds of unassuming places, it seems.

But the issue isn’t just with Tesla. In February, the latest month for which we have access to relevant data, the available inventory of EVs in the U.S., measured in days’ supply, was 136 days, according to Cox Automotive. This figure excludes Tesla and Rivian, which sell their cars directly to consumers. Compare it to the industry average of 78 days’ supply and the picture isn’t exactly rosy.

Nissan had the highest EV inventory in February, with almost 160 days’ supply, followed by BMW and Kia. The lowest was GMC, with 54.6 days’ supply of new EVs at dealers.

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