Musk argues regulators overstepped in tweet contempt quest

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Image iStock

"As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3 percent on average worldwide", a company statement said.

Tesla says that since its announcement two weeks ago, it has closed 10 percent of its sales locations, specifically targeting locations that didn't invite "natural foot traffic", some of which were destined for closure even if a company-wide restructuring wasn't ordered.

Electric carmaker Tesla has reversed a previous decision to close most of its stores and move to online-only sales in order to pass the savings along to customers.

Tesla justified online ordering saying that its generous return policy will compensate test drives as buyers can return a auto with seven days or 1,000 miles. They will keep a limited number of cars so that customers can drive away with a new vehicle immediately.

A number of Tesla investors are suing company chief executive Elon Musk over his recent tweets.

"A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew".

CleanTechnica spoke to several retail store employees after the news of Tesla closing retail stores went out and the sentiment was universally unsettled. Although Tesla said it would concentrate on making up volume in Europe and China, neither of those markets appear able to take up the US' slack.

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The electric car-maker revealed it was backing off its plan to close all of its USA stores in a blog post on Monday.

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.

According to Tesla's blog, the preference for conducting sales online will continue and said buyers in stores would be trained to order a Tesla on phone, which is a rapid process. The policy allows new buyers to drive the vehicle for 1000 miles or seven days. The company also revised its earlier plan to close all physical retail stores.

The company said it would await the results of a further review on the usefulness of physical locations, and only cut the original price of the vehicle be "about 3%".

However, the long-promised $US35,000 Model 3 will not be impacted by the increase.

The move comes after Tesla said last month it was shifting all sales online to help lower prices by about six per cent on average, allowing it to achieve the relatively low starting fee for the entry-spec Model 3. Since Tesla's inception, the company has never posted positive earnings over a year.

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