Economy

Tesla walks back its plan to close most showrooms

Tesla walks back its plan to close most showrooms

Tesla made a controversial decision last month when it announced that it would be closing all of its stores and going online only for sales of its EVs.

It's unclear how many stores Tesla will keep open, exactly, and where.

Tesla also suggested a brick-and-mortar retail strategy was important in its annual report filed February 19, just nine days before Musk announced the pivot to online sales. Tesla touted that move as a time and money saver, with the company passing on a 6 percent savings to the buying customer.

Tesla is hiking the cost of its more expensive vehicle models to retain about half of the physical stores the company had planned to close, according to a Sunday blog post. Tesla announced last month that it would shutter most of its stores to cut costs so it could sell its lower-priced Model 3 for $35,000. Additionally, a week from now, there will be price increases on all of its vehicles with the exception of the standard range Model 3.

"Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18", the EV maker said, which could add further confusion for potential buyers.

The company gave no numbers, but said it would close only about half the stores that it had meant to.

Instead, they visit to see sales models and take test drives, before finishing the deed online.Tesla's one New York City showroom is in Manhattan's Meatpacking District at 860 Washington Street.

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"A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew." noted Tesla.

Despite this possible reprieve for the thousands of retail workers at Tesla, Musk's email and the blog post state that sales will remain online only, and that the stores will exist just to show people how to order a auto "on their phone in a few minutes".

Tesla has pulled a U-turn on plans to close nearly all of its dealerships while announcing price rises for its more expensive cars. Buyers coming into stores will be able to do a test drive, and if they choose to buy a vehicle, they'll be shown how to do that on their phones.

The company earlier announced a switch to online-only sales in hopes of cutting costs while boosting demand and the firm's stock price as it had a billion-dollar debt payment to make.

A copy of Tesla's blog post explaining the new store and pricing update has been provided below. The policy allows new buyers to drive the vehicle for 1000 miles or seven days.

Tesla has finally launched the $35,000 Model 3.