Tesla pumps brakes on plan to shutter all stores

Tesla Changes Its Mind Over Store Closures, Raises Prices By 3%

However, there will be no price hike for the cheapest Model 3, which is its cheapest vehicle with a starting price of $35,000 in the U.S., around £26,400 in the United Kingdom - although prices for Britain are yet to be confirmed. In a turnabout from the decision that caught staff and investors off guard, the company has since chose to keep "significantly" more stores open, it said on its blog.

Tesla is set to marginally increaser the cost of its cars worldwide as it looks to keep more of its stores open.

Despite the about-face, the company claims it is still moving to an online-only sales model, with store staff instructing buyers how to purchase their new auto online. The stores will keep a small inventory on hand for people who want to drive away immediately.

Tesla said the worldwide price increases would apply to the more expensive versions of the Model 3, Model S and Model X, and that there will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3.

The abrupt move earlier this month by CEO Elon Musk, contrasting with an expanding network of retail spaces, sparked concern about Tesla's finances.

Tesla said on Sunday it has "been closely evaluating every single" retail location. The vehicle firm is backtracking on its plans to close most of its stores worldwide after a period of evaluation.

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"The fact that the Tesla's vehicle prices are going up by 3% is not worrying in itself". Before the $35,000 Model 3 was available, the cheapest Tesla started at $42,900.

But Musk's lawyers argued on Monday that the tweet complied with the company's communication policy for senior executives and that the US Securities and Exchange Commission's request that Musk be held in civil contempt is incorrect on the facts and on the law.

To settle fraud charges stemming from the tweet, Musk had to resign as Tesla chairman, both he and the company had to pay $20 million fines, and the SEC demanded oversight of his social media use. The company did emphasize that all sales would still be online only-salespeople will show customers how to order vehicles via an app.

Shares of Tesla Inc. edged up less than 1 percent in Monday trading. The company hasn't yet clarified why it partly reversed its initial decision, but Engadget has reached out for more information.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 Standard Range arrives soon at $35,000 and 220 miles.

On Feb. 28, the company said shifting to online sales would allow it to lower all vehicle prices by an average of 6 percent, including its higher-end Model S and Model X. At the time, Musk also walked back the company's guidance that it would be profitable in all future quarters, saying it would post a loss in the first quarter of this year. The email to employees was also followed by a public-facing blog post.

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