SEOUL -- Tesla Motors Inc. is in talks to open its first store in what will be South Korea’s biggest mall, according to the shopping complex’s owner Shinsegae Group.
The two parties are negotiating over an outlet at Starfield Hanam, which is set to be the country’s largest mall when it opens in September, according to Shinsegae Group. Built jointly by Shinsegae Group and Taubman Asia, the four-story complex occupies an area the equivalent of 70 football fields and is located about six miles east of Seoul.
Premium automakers including BMW are opening showrooms in retail districts to attract walk-in customers who wouldn’t otherwise visit car dealerships. Shinsegae Group owns Shinsegae Co. and E-MART Inc. and is South Korea’s second-largest retail conglomerate, behind Lotte Group.
Atsuko Doi, a spokeswoman for Tesla in Tokyo, didn’t immediately reply to an email request for comment. Tesla said last month it plans to set up an office in Seoul, without giving further details. The U.S. electric vehicle maker advertised positions in sales, engineering, service and marketing in Seoul on its website. South Korea would be Tesla’s fourth market in Asia after China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Separately, Hyundai Motor Co. said in an email that it will open its first premium Genesis brand store in the Starfield mall later this year.