select all

Tesla Says It Was Just Kidding, Stores to Remain Open

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Now that it has our attention — earlier this month, Tesla announced it would be shuttering many of its brick-and-mortar stores and shifting to an entirely online business model — the company would like us to know that after evaluating all of its locations, it has changed its mind. It will not be closing all of the stores it initially said it would. Instead, it will only close about 10 percent of its total stores. Some vehicles’ prices, the company also announced in a blog post, are increasing.

The price on Tesla’s “cheapest” car, the Model 3, will hold at $35,000. But the tags on the Model 3, the Model S, and Model X are all increasing by 3 percent. The company said it will still be doing its business predominantly online. “All sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes,” the company said. If you buy a Tesla, you’ve got seven days — or 1,000 miles; whichever comes first — to return it, a policy Tesla says eliminates the need for test driving. Still, the company also says its remaining stores will have some physical stock on hand for customers who want to waltz in and drive out in a new car on the same day. Which is to say … Tesla’s not actually going online-only.

Earlier this year, Elon Musk cited selling cheaper cars as a reason for slashing full-time employees at the company by 7 percent. In January, he said that creating a less-pricey Model 3 “requires extreme effort and relentless creativity.” Effort and creativity from, apparently, fewer employees. The Model 3, at the time of the announcement, was priced at $44,000. So, I guess it’s … working? Tesla laid off an additional 9 percent of its staff in June 2018.

Tesla Says It Was Just Kidding, Stores to Remain Open