Tesla raises prices as Musk backtracks on closing stores

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Earlier this month Tesla said it would close an unspecified number of stores to fund a cut in the price of the Model 3 in the U.S. to $35,000 (£26,400). Perhaps realizing that closing the majority of its stores was a short-sighted move, the company over the weekend announced that it will keep most of its stores open and that the promised price cuts for the Model S and Model X won't be implemented.

Tesla also chose to retain some of the physical stores it had planned to close and will reopen some of the closed retail centers.

Tesla's PR notes that all vehicles sales will still be conducted online, though it also states that a small number of vehicles will be on-hand for immediate purchase.

While the Model 3 will keep its recently discounted price of $35,000, the price of all Model S and Model X Teslas will rise 3 percent worldwide, Tesla said.

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

Such a criticism could not be leveled at Tesla's now-closed store in Washington, DC, located in the city's newest and poshest downtown retail location; perhaps this store was one that suffered from "low apparent demand generation".

The SEC submission says the go-private plan was discussed internally at Tesla many days before Musk's tweet "and that many were suspect of the purported deal's legitimacy", Meissner's statement said.

All Tesla sales will still be conducted online, and the showrooms will remain to show clients how to order a Tesla on their phone. The Model 3 has not yet gone on sale in the United Kingdom, so final pricing has yet to be decided.

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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 backtrack from the online only strategy to us is a sign that may indicate Tesla did not see a positive reaction to orders post the announcement".

As part of that settlement, Musk stepped down as the company's chairman and he and Tesla agreed to pay $20 million each in fines.

Shares of Tesla Inc. edged up less than 1 percent in Monday trading.

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 auto be "about 3%".

Tesla spokeswoman Emily Findlay also said there is nothing more to add beyond what the blog post had mentioned.

The three percent increase on its top-end cars would be the first hike in prices after a series of cuts over the past year aimed at offsetting a reduction in green tax credits and the impact of rising tariffs overseas.

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