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Tesla is opening on Friday a brand-new showroom in New York where it will sell cars, batteries, and solar panels all under one roof, and the new store opening incidentally coincided with a report that said that U.S. residential solar installations are expected to drop by 13 percent this year, after years of double-digit growth.
According to the quarterly SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight, GTM Research forecasts a 13-percent contraction in residential solar in 2017 “as major markets fall and emerging state markets contribute relatively less growth.”
After Tesla bought SolarCity last year, it has focused on integration and profit margin growth rather than on expansion and higher sales. Earlier this year, Tesla stopped selling solar installations door-to-door, and thus removed a major channel to reach out to its customers.
“If SolarCity accounted for a 30 percent share of the national market and you cut those installation volumes effectively in half, that’s really what we are looking at in terms of the market downturn in 2017,” Austin Perea, who tracks the U.S. residential solar market for GTM, told Reuters.
According to the report, “the downturn has more to do with two major competitive landscape constraints. First, segment-wide customer-acquisition challenges are constraining growth in major state markets.”
“Second, national residential solar companies have slowed operations and pursued more profitable sales channels by pulling back on less-scalable channels such as door-to-door sales, which has come at the expense of growth,” the SEIA/GTM Research report says.
Now Tesla’s new NYC store will sell solar panels, alongside Tesla’s electric vehicles or the Powerwall home battery systems.
The offering comprises the entire Tesla product range, with one notable exception—Model 3. The mass-market model manufacturing has been “production hell”—Elon Musk has said—and has hit production bottlenecks, significantly underperforming the aggressive targets that Musk has been setting for production and delivery of Tesla’s vehicles.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.