Tesla has reversed its move to close stores, the company announced in a blog post. To keep those stores open, the company says it will raise the prices of Tesla vehicles by 3 percent worldwide on March 18, except for the $35,000 Model 3, which will remain the same price.
The more expensive Model 3s, the Model S, and Model X will all increase in price. The choice to keep more stores open came after a two-week-long evaluation of “every single Tesla retail location,” according to the blog post. About 10 percent of Tesla stores have been closed recently, the blog post says. “These are stores that we would have closed anyway,” according to the post.
The company had previously announced on February 28th that it would be closing its stores and moving to online-only sales. Moving all sales online would allow Tesla to lower the price of its cars by 6 percent, which was how the company would finally be able to sell the $35,000 Model 3, Tesla said at the time. The blog post did not say specifically why the company was reversing course on closing the physical locations. However, it did say that all sales will still be done online, even at the stores — with salespeople showing customers how to order Teslas on their phones. There will be “a small number of cars” available for those who want to buy a Tesla immediately.
“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 blog post reads. A few previously-closed stores will be reopened, but with fewer workers. And another 20 percent of Tesla locations are under review. “Depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open.”
A Tesla spokeswoman said the company had no comment beyond the blog post.