Tesla Inc said on Sunday it will raise prices of its high-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average as it plans to keep more retail stores open than planned.
Last month, Tesla announced that it would be winding down many of its stores and move to online-only sales in order to pass the savings along to its customers.
But now Tesla said it decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced.
"When we recently closed 10% of sales locations, we selected stores that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for. These are stores that we would have closed anyway, even if in-store sales made up our entire sales model. A few stores in high visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened, but with a smaller Tesla crew. In addition, there are another 20% of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open," Tesla said.
As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide.
Cost savings from store closing will be only about half the expected amount as the company will close only half the number of stores planned, Tesla said.
Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. Tsla said there will be no price increase to the recently discounted $35,000 Model 3. The price increases will apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X.
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. And the return policy of 1000 miles or 7 days, whichever comes first, should alleviate the need for most test drives. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner’s request. Stores will also carry a small number of cars in inventory for thosr who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.
Possible Rechargeable Battery deal
Seperately, Tesla has been reportedly in discussions with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) for ordering rechargeable batteries to power its Model 3 cars, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
CATL has been in talks with Tesla officials about the required specifications for the batteries, according to the Bloomberg report, which added that there was no guarantee that an agreement would be reached.
Tesla declined to comment.