Tesla has backflipped on plans to move all sales of its electric vehicles online, announcing that it has decided to keep “significantly more” retail outlets open, and pay for this by raising its car prices by around 3 per cent worldwide.
The about-face comes just eight days after the US EV maker announced plans to shut down most of its showrooms, in a move it said was necessary in order to achieve lower prices and reach a wider market.
In a statement on its website late on Sunday (US time), Tesla said that after close evaluation of “every single Tesla retail location,” it has decided to keep significantly more open than previously announced.
This included some that had been closed already “due to low throughput,” which Tesla said would now be reopened, but with a smaller crew.
“In addition, there are another 20 per cent 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,” the statement said.
Tesla doesn’t exactly explain why it has had this change of heart – although there is some speculation, based on a Wall Street Journal report, that it is largely because the EV maker could not get out of some of its retail leases.