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Unsold Teslas fill Langley parking lot

Sales are down at the EV company and inventory is building up
A fenced-off parking lot on 197 Street in Langley is filled with Tesla sedans, as the car company’s sales dipped this year, increasing inventory. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

As Tesla struggles to sell all the cars it’s been manufacturing in North America, a parking lot in Langley is filling up with the electric vehicles.

The fenced-off lot on 197 Street, just off 64 Avenue, has about 100 spaces and is packed with Tesla sedans and SUVs, along with a handful of vehicles of other brands.

It’s a short drive from the Tesla sales centre on the Langley Bypass, which usually has its site full of Teslas awaiting sale or pickup as well.

Neighbours of the 197 Street parking lot, who asked not to be named, said the cars started showing up sometime in the late winter, between late January and early March. They’ve been in the lot for a few months now.

It’s not unusual for car dealerships to park inventory in vacant lots or empty parking lots temporarily, particularly when new models arrive from factories.

But Tesla, over the past few years, has often had months-long wait times for customers buying its cars. Those wait lists shrank in 2023 as the company ramped up production.

Tesla’s sales slumped for the first time ever in the first three months of 2024, according to the company’s first quarter production reports.

Between January and March, the company produced 433,371 vehicles, and delivered 386,810, according to its production and deliveries report in April. That’s 46,561 more vehicles produced than delivered to customers.

That compares to the final three months of 2023, when Tesla produced 494,989 vehicles, and delivered 484,507 to customers, a gap of 10,482.

In recent weeks, media reports have emerged of parking lots filled with Teslas awaiting sale at empty shopping centres or office complexes across North America.

Reports noted that the parking lots with hundreds of Teslas were usually near their delivery centres, similar to the situation in Langley. Major storage sites included parking lots in Missouri, New Jersey, and on a disused airbase in Germany near one of Tesla’s largest factories.

Federal and provincial incentives have helped fuel a major market for EVs in B.C., with EVs and plug-in hybrids making up more than a quarter of all new light cars and trucks sold in the province in the last quarter of 2023.

Attempts to reach a Tesla spokesperson for comment were not successful.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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