Tesla backtracks on store closings, price hikes

Tesla Store Los Angeles

Tesla backtracks on store closings, price hikes

There won't be a price increase to the US$35,000 Model 3.

Tesla on Sunday announced that it would reduce the number of store closures that it had previously announced.

The company stated that it has evaluated all of its stores over the past two weeks and has made a decision to keep "significantly more" stores open than originally anticipated.

"While the reversal to keep stores open does call into question the soundness of the initial decision, we view this as the right course of action and think that test drives are still an important part of the sales process until the electric vehicle penetration rates increase meaningfully".

In a Monday filing with government regulators, Tesla now says it closed 10 percent of its stores, but a few of those will now remain open.

The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the top USA securities regulator adds pressure on Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $35,000.

The electric auto maker said in a statement late Sunday that prices for most models worldwide would go up by about 3% after it chose to "keep significantly more stores open than previously announced". Such a criticism could not be leveled at Tesla's now-closed store in Washington, DC, located in the city's newest and poshest downtown retail location; perhaps this store was one that suffered from "low apparent demand generation".

Back then, Tesla was aiming for profitability, and it was all hands on deck.

However, it did not state which of the 378 stores and service locations around the world it would close.

In its blog post, Tesla said it's sticking to plans for all sales to be done online, with more thinly staffed stores playing the role of coaching consumers on how to order cars on their phones. Price increases will only apply to more expensive Model 3, Model S, and Model X vehicles.

The price cut announced by Tesla previously was categorised as "around 6%". Since Tesla's inception, the company has never posted positive earnings over a year.

In order to support those retail locations, Tesla will raise prices by about 3 percent across the board.

Tesla's acquisition of Central Valley Transport's trucks will help the company optimize the delivery of its vehicles.

Tesla said it will look at a further 20 percent of its stores over the coming month to determine whether they will remain.

Tesla's announcement of original plan to close its stores prompted a sell-off in the company's stock.

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