Tesla to open service centre in Toa Payoh, appoints 'geek' as country manager

The only Tesla model available for sale in Singapore is the Model 3 compact.
The only Tesla model available for sale in Singapore is the Model 3 compact.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Tesla Singapore will operate out of a Toa Payoh facility formerly occupied by Tan Chong Motor's Nissan dealership.

The American electric-car maker was not available for comment, but The Straits Times understands the company is likely to have its car servicing centre at 17 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh slated to open in July.

It may also display its Model 3 there, although the company is also said to be planning to have "experience stores" at venues such as Raffles City Shopping Centre and Jewel Changi Airport. Similar stores in the United States can be found in shopping malls. Test drives can be arranged at these venues.

Tesla has also appointed a self-confessed geek from outside the industry as its country manager in Singapore.

The only Tesla model available for sale here is the Model 3 compact. 

Although Tesla does not reveal how many confirmed orders it has in hand, market watchers estimate the number to be between 200 and 500.

The company, led by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk, has appointed Frenchman Christopher Bousigues as country manager here.

Mr Bousigues, 45, has just arrived to assume his post, and is under stay-home notice because of Covid-19 restrictions.

He was previously with software firm SAP as well as Microsoft. He said he has lived and worked in 19 countries, and speaks five languages.

He holds two degrees from France, one in mechanical engineering and the other in marketing and international business, as well as a Master in Business Administration from the Helsinki School of Economics in Finland.

"In my private life, I am an avid sportsperson, a geek," he said, adding that he is also a car enthusiast and enjoys "being on a race track when possible".

Asked what he hopes to achieve in Tesla, he said: "I hope to bring my experience, from having worked in various markets and industries, to help Singapore in its Green Plan around mass adoption of electric vehicles."


Tesla Singapore will operate out of a Toa Payoh facility formerly occupied by Tan Chong Motor's Nissan dealership (above). ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Commenting on Tesla picking a non-automotive executive for a role in what is possibly the most complex vehicle market in the world, Mr David Leong, managing director of recruitment company PeopleWorldwide Consulting, said: "It may look like a different fit with little relevance to the automotive industry... but Tesla's target market will be those who are into smart mobility and intrigued with Tesla's technology in the automotive space.

"In any case, Tesla has a strong rebel streak going against the grain of conventionality. Its choice of a country manager who is an outlier... should not be seen as surprising."