Tesla has cancelled plans announced at the end of last month to close all its showrooms and move to an online-only sales model.
Instead of pursuing its plans, which were supposed to generate savings and help it lower the price of its vehicles, it has now said it will increase the price of its Model S and Model X by 3% and keep at least half of its stores open. Its plan to sell the Model 3 at a new target sales price of $35,000 remains in place, however.
Explaining the move, the company said: “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.”
Tesla said a few stores in “high-visibility locations” that were closed because of low throughput would be reopened, but with fewer staff.
“In addition, there are another 20% of locations that are under review and, depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open,” it stated.
Tesla originally said the closure of all 276 of its stores globally would help it lower costs and allow it to deliver its Model 3 product at a lower price of $35,000. Along with “other ongoing cost-efficiencies”, it said the move would enable it to lower all vehicle prices by an average of 6%.
Tesla buyers have less than a week before the price rise on the Model S and Model X takes effect.
This is not the first time Tesla has announced sweeping changes to its business model, only to then think again. In August last year, founder Elon Musk said he was thinking of privatising the company – only to withdraw the plan 17 days later in the face of shareholder objections.