May 24, 2019

Tesla reverses out of showroom closures

12 March 2019, 07:56 | Hattie Nash

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Tesla Model X

The electric auto manufacturer announced February 28 that it was planning on closing nearly all of its physical stores and switching to a purely online sales model, Business Insider reported.

"As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide", the company said.

At the end of a year ago, the company had almost 400 showrooms across the country, but has closed about 10 percent of those with the worst performance.

Cost savings from store closures will now be only about half the expected amount, Tesla said, as the company will shut half the number of stores it had originally planned. All the rest appear safe, for now. The carmaker says the $35,000 Model 3 will not be affected by the increase, which will be felt exclusively by buyers of "the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X".

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Unlike other carmakers, Tesla runs its own showrooms, rather than use a network of dealers. It also has locations on Long Island, in Westchester and in Northern New Jersey. Tesla wants to increase its vehicle transportation capacity and cut delivery times.

"Unfortunately, there's no way around it", said Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a conference call.

After Musk infamously (and falsely) tweeted that he had the necessary funding to take Tesla private in August past year, the executive reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 7-day/1,000 mile test drive policy will still apply as well, though test drives will still be available in stores.

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. Ramsey asked. "It's nearly as if the decision was announced and made without any analysis of what the outcome would be". The company will evaluate the performance of approximately 20% store locations over the next few months before determining if they should remain open or close.

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The company said it would await the results of a further review on the usefulness of physical locations, and only cut the original price of the vehicle be "about 3%".

On Feb. 28, the company said shifting totally to online sales would allow it to lower all vehicle prices by 6 percent, on average, including its higher-end Model S and Model X.

Other than that, Tesla is not giving much away: accompanying the invitation is a high contrast image of the front profile of the electric SUV, which appears (rightly so) to have a higher roof than the Model 3.

Tesla spokeswoman Emily Findlay also said there is nothing more to add beyond what the blog post had mentioned.

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