Tesla Hits Brakes on Retail Store Closures, Will Instead Slightly Raise Prices

Tesla has backpedaled on its plans to close a vast majority of its stores worldwide in order to save money and to lower the price of its cars accordingly.

Just days after announcing that it would close most of its stores, Tesla announced late Sunday evening that it had decided to keep “significantly more stores open” than previously announced.

According to CNBC, CEO Elon Musk wrote in an email that the company would now be keeping many of its unclosed stores open and would even reopen some of the now-shuttered locations.

At the end of last month, CEO Elon Musk said that only a small number of stores in “high-traffic locations” will stay open as galleries, showcases, and Tesla information centers. The reduction in retail headcount would allow it to sell the cheapest version of the Model 3 while remaining financially stable.

However, after spending the last two weeks evaluating every single Tesla retail location, the company has decided to keep more stores open. As a result, it is increasing the price of the more expensive Model 3, Model S, and Model X vehicles by around 3 percent worldwide. The price of the $35,900 CAD Model 3 “after gas savings and incentives” will not be affected.

“Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” the company said in a statement late Sunday.

Additionally, Tesla also announced that some of the stores that it closed in high visibility locations will be reopened, but these stores will have a smaller Tesla crew.

The company will still do test drives in physical locations for potential customers on request and will carry some vehicles in inventory for customers who want to drive away in a car instead of waiting for an online order to be built.

The carmaker said potential buyers will be able to place orders at the old prices until March 18. Tesla will also keep 20 percent of its stores under review for a few months, after which it will decide to either keep them open or close them.

“To be clear, all sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming into stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes,” the company noted.