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Tesla Abandons Last Week's Decision to Close Stores, Will Increase Prices Instead

Tesla Abandons Last Week's Decision to Close Stores, Will Increase Prices Instead”

Tesla has 378 stores and service centers worldwide and about 100 stores in the U.S. If the company closes 30 percent of the stores that would equal about 110. Instead, the company will save cash by increasing the prices of every vehicle in its range except the $35,000 (around £26,400, AU$49,300) version of the Model 3.

In the first weekend of March, Tesla owners staged protests outside Tesla stores and Superchargers in some parts of Asia after the company had announced the massive price cuts, meaning that existing customers for some models in some counties have paid by up to 40 percent more for their Teslas before the price reduction. In a turnabout from the store-closing decision that caught staff and investors off guard, the company has since chose to keep "significantly" more locations open, according to a blog post.

Tesla announced that it has already closed the lowest-performing 10 percent of its stores.

As a result of keeping these additional stores open the electric carmaker has stated that prices are expected to rise by "about three per cent on average worldwide". The company also has a list of about one hundred stores that it's evaluating: Some will close and others will stay, it says.

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The company said that keeping more stores open will cause it to raise the price of its cars.

Tesla is increasing prices of its electric cars after scaling back a store closure programme.

The moves come on the day that lawyers for Tesla CEO Elon Musk have to file a legal brief explaining to a NY federal judge why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court for an inaccurate February 19 tweet that could have influenced the company's stock price.

In brief: Tesla has backtracked on plans to close virtually all its stores following a move to an online-only sales model.

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All Tesla sales will still be conducted online, and the showrooms will remain to show clients how to order a Tesla on their phone. 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's not clear if Tesla will increase just the base price of the vehicles, or if certain options will be subject to the price hike as well. Some stores will also have a small number of cars available for immediate delivery.

Tesla is still sticking with its plan for all orders for its vehicles to take place online - even in its brick-and-mortar outlets. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner's request.

The company has been pushed to cut costs in recent weeks having suffered its "most challenging" year in its history.

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