Nearly two weeks ago, Tesla finally announced it would begin selling the $35,000 Model 3 it promised back in 2016. However, in order to achieve the lower price, the company said it would shift all of its sales to its website and online. This would eliminate the company’s physical stores and help them achieve a three percent reduction in price.
As it turns out, however, this move isn’t as necessary as Tesla originally anticipated. The company wrote up a blog post today stating they’ll keep significantly more of their retail outlets open, a direct contradiction to their original claim. “Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months,” the company said.
In the same breath, Tesla did close 10 percent of its stores during this transition. “These are stores that we would have closed anyway,” according to the company. “We selected stores that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for.”
Tesla is also currently evaluating 20 percent of its other stores which will either close or remain open, depending on how the evaluations go.
Strangely enough, even though the company will keep most of its stores open, Tesla will still use the web to handle sales. So if you buy a Tesla in a store, an employee will show you how to order your car on your phone. If you absolute need a car that very moment, the company will store some cars at certain outlets. In addition, to keep the stores open, Tesla will increase the price of its cars by three percent, with the exception of the $35,000 Model 3.
The weirdest part of this entire story is the fact Tesla hasn’t stated their reason to reevaluate its stores and ultimately choose to keep many of them open. The company isn’t commenting on today’s news, so it looks like we’ll have to wait for CEO Elon Musk to tweet something about it in the future.
With plenty of questions left over from this blog post, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if we hear about any developments.