The step backwards will come as a hit to customers as well, as Tesla will raise prices 3% on all S and X vehicles as well as all of the Model 3 configurations other than the $35,000 configuration to account for the remaining stores.
Musk, 47, described the store wind-down announced on February 28 as a cost-cutting move that enabled Tesla to offer a long-promised US$35,000 version of the Model 3 sedan, the automaker's first mass-market vehicle. It said it will now "only close about half as many stores" as previously planned.
According to Tesla's blog, the preference for conducting sales online will continue and said buyers in stores would be trained to order a Tesla on phone, which is a rapid process.
The carmaker has confirmed that the price rises will become effective from March 18th. As a result of that decision, the company says it will have to increases prices on most of its models. The day after Tesla sent out invitations to the unveiling of the Model Y crossover, VP of Engineering Michael Schwekutsch announced his sudden departure.
A couple of closed stores in "high visibility locations" will reopen with smaller crews, and stores will carry a reduced inventory for people who can't wait to get their cars.
DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 Standard Range arrives soon at $35,000 and 220 miles.
Last month, the electric-car maker announced it was shifting to online-only sales and closing most of its 378 retail stores.
The move comes days after Tesla's announcement to sell cars on an online-only platform to help save costs.
The move made no sense to begin with because Tesla had spent millions fighting in courts and state legislatures trying to change laws that prevented companies from selling vehicles at their own stores, Ramsey said.
The company also revised its earlier plan to close all physical retail stores. Physical stores will have a small selection for customers who want to test drive a vehicle or drive one off the lot immediately.
Other than that, Tesla is not giving much away: accompanying the invitation is a high contrast image of the front profile of the electric SUV, which appears (rightly so) to have a higher roof than the Model 3.
Tesla had said less than two weeks ago that it would begin shutting most of its stores in a cost-cutting move created to help reduce the price of its bestselling vehicle, the Model 3, to as low as $35,000.