Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Tesla Is Keeping Its Stores Open, But Increasing Prices To Do It

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at a news conference in Chicago. Stock market regulators are asking a federal court to hold Musk in contempt for violating an agreement requiring him to have his tweets about key company Associated Press
Priscilla Morrison | 12 March, 2019, 04:55

The move does not affect Tesla's decision to move all purchases onto the internet, as the stores will simply shift to a policy of helping customers with their online purchases. Such a criticism could not be leveled at Tesla's now-closed store in Washington, DC, located in the city's newest and poshest downtown retail location; perhaps this store was one that suffered from "low apparent demand generation".

Less than two weeks after Tesla said that it would cut all vehicle prices by an average of 6 percent and shift sales on online only, the electric vehicle (EV) maker is backpedaling on the stores closure plan and is lifting auto prices by 3 percent, except for the $35,000 Model 3.

In a post on the company's website, the automaker stated it has now "decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months".

Tesla also suggested a brick-and-mortar retail strategy was important in its annual report filed February 19, just nine days before Musk announced the pivot to online sales.

To make up for this, Tesla will raise the prices of its high-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average, as it strives for profitability.

More news: Pa. man accused of choking driver for singing Christmas carols: cops

Tesla is hiking the cost of its more expensive vehicle models to retain about half of the physical stores the company had planned to close, according to a Sunday blog post.

Earlier this month Tesla said it would close an unspecified number of stores to fund a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the USA to $35,000 (£26,400).

Its launch date was announced last week by Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk following the warmly welcomed, $US35,000 ($A49,750 at today's rates) base model of the all-electric Model 3 sedan.

Tesla cut the prices in response to falling tax incentives for its cars, after the company reached the cap on the credits last summer. It's raising prices instead-on all but the Standard Range Model 3. Tesla also pulled the trigger on closing a few high-profile stores that were closed due to low throughput and, having re-evaluated the decision, the company has opted to re-open the stores, with reduced staffing.

Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. Though the company noted that most orders occur through the Tesla website, that's probably a function of eager Tesla buyers willing to pull the trigger with not so much as a test drive.

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