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Tesla opens its first base in Northern Ireland creating 15 jobs

Tesla's new service centre in south Belfast is its first in Northern Ireland.
Ryan McAleer

TESLA has opened its first base in Northern Ireland creating 15 jobs.

The Irish News revealed in July that the electric car giant has taken on the former Trust Ford site in the Boucher Road in south Belfast.

Now the 9,500 sq ft Tesla Service Plus site has opened, offering test drives and servicing.

The forecourt went on the market earlier this year when Ford closed its dealership on the site in February, redirecting customers to sites in Lisburn and the Newtownards Road.

The lease was marketed with an annual rent of £100,000.

Tesla paved the way for the new base during July with a pop up shop in Portadown, allowing customers to collect their new car at Porters’ Bodyshop.

Prior to that, Tesla owners in the north had to travel to Edinburgh as the nearest UK service centre.

In a statement, Tesla said all car buying for the Belfast site will be done online, even from in store.

It has also used tech to implement social distancing for test drives and servicing.

“For those wanting to test drive, we can use the connected nature of our cars to provide you with an independent experience,” said a spokesperson.

“Organise a touchless test drive online, do the ‘paperwork’ in advance over email, come to the Belfast store and we’ll unlock the car for you.

“At this point, you will find a readily clean car to use for your test drive and a video tutorial on screen to enhance your experience. Simply return when you have finished.”

Tesla has also said that touchless servicing can be done via its app, allowing its technicians to pre-diagnose and in some cases, remotely fix cars with software upgrades.

Data gathered by the NI Electric Vehicle Owners website, states that 579 new electric vehicles were registered in the north in 2019, bringing the total registered since 2011 to 3,042.

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