Earlier this month Tesla announced that it would be closing the majority of its brick and mortar stores worldwide in order to afford the $US35,000 price tag on the new Model 3, as well as keep the company "financially sustainable."
The company has now published a blog post which backflipped on this decision.
Earlier today Tesla announced its long-awaited $US35,000 Model 3. But that wasn't the only surprise. It also confirmed that to afford selling the new model at this price it would need to close most of its brick and mortar stores over the next few months.
This post was originally published on March 11 at 18:08.
The company stated that it has evaluated all of its stores over the past two weeks and has decided to keep "significantly more" stores open than originally anticipated.
This decision means that global prices will need to rise.
"As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide. In other words, we will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half," Tesla stated.
Anyone who was considering buying a in the near future has only one week to lock in the current pricing. After March 18 some prices will get bumped up.
However, the long-promised $US35,000 Model 3 will not be impacted by the increase. Tesla has stated that only the most expensive variants of the Model 3, S and X will be impacted.
Update on Tesla Stores and Pricinghttps://t.co/Qx4MXamYd9
— Tesla (@Tesla) March 11, 2019
Despite this quick direction change, Tesla maintains that worldwide sales will be moving to an online model. Potential Tesla customers who walk into a store will be shown how to order one on their phones.
And despite test drives being one of the biggest draw cards of the stores, the company is confident that its "1000 miles or 7 days" return policy will negate customers' need to try a very expensive car before they actually buy one.
Fortunately, test drives will still be available by request and stores will have a few cars on hand for anyone who decides they need to buy one on the spot.
This news comes a week after Tesla announced the launch date of the Model Y, March 15 in Australia, as well as its brand new V3 Supercharger. The company will presumably not change its mind about these.
Earlier this week Elon Musk finally announced the launch day of the Model Y - March 14. This electronic SUV has been a long time coming, as has the name. Perhaps it was naive of me to hope that Musk wouldn't lean into the naming convention that he's been building towards for years. And yet here we are.