Tesla’s Overflow: Unsold Inventory Filling Abandoned Mall Parking Lots

's challenges in balancing production and sales have led to an unusual solution: parking its unsold vehicles in abandoned mall lots, reports Jalopnik. This overflow is becoming increasingly visible, symbolizing a growing issue within the electric vehicle giant.

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Tesla's Production vs. Sales Imbalance

In the first quarter of 2024, Tesla produced 46,561 more vehicles than it delivered. These excess cars are being stored in various locations, including an abandoned mall's parking lot near St. Louis. This situation underscores the company's struggle to match its production rate with consumer demand.

Overflow Parking at Chesterfield Mall

Chesterfield Mall, located about 20 miles west of St. Louis, has become a temporary storage site for Tesla's unsold cars. The mall, slated for demolition to way for a $2 billion mixed-use project, is utilizing its remaining days by renting out its parking lot.

Tim Lowe, Senior Vice President of the Staenberg Group, the mall's owner, explained to KTVI:

“We put a plan together to try and create alternate uses that would kind of be able to use some of the remaining life left in the mall before we tear it down. One of those uses was allowing people to use the parking lot for different things. One of our users happens to be Tesla, who does have a dealership in the [Chesterfield] Valley, but does not have enough capacity at the dealership to park all of the cars they are bringing in. So they are renting space within the parking lot to store their cars.”

According to Lowe, at least 300 Tesla vehicles are currently parked at Chesterfield Mall. This overflow highlights a broader issue of excess inventory that Tesla is facing globally.

Global Storage Solutions

The situation in Chesterfield is not unique. Tesla's Fremont factory in continues to produce vehicles at a high rate, filling up available storage lots. In , the small town of Neuhardenberg has also experienced an influx of Tesla vehicles being parked at the regional airport, leading to complaints from residents about the noise caused by transporters.

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Unsold Tesla cars at the factory in Fremont, California.

Workforce and Product Challenges

Adding to Tesla's woes, the company has laid off ten percent of its workforce. Moreover, the much-anticipated has encountered significant issues, including a warrant covering coolant leaks within the first 35 miles of use. These challenges reflect the broader difficulties Tesla faces in its operations and product quality.

Balancing Production and Demand

Tesla's current situation underscores the complexity of maintaining balance in production and sales. With thousands of unsold vehicles and significant operational challenges, the company's strategy to store cars in unconventional locations like abandoned mall parking lots is a temporary fix. Moving forward, Tesla must address these imbalances to sustain its position in the competitive electric vehicle market.

Photo courtesy of Met God In Wilderness.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of EVXL.co, where he covers all electric vehicle-related news, covering brands such as Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan and others. He fulfills a similar role at the drone news site DroneXL.co. Haye can be reached at haye @ evxl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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