Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have chose to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months. Tesla on Monday announced an average 3 percent hike in prices for its cars and reversed the decision to close all its physical stores.
After spending the last two weeks evaluating every single Tesla location, the company has made a decision to keep more stores open. The company also has a list of about one hundred stores that it's evaluating: Some will close and others will stay, it says.
The store-closing reversal shows that Tesla had second thoughts about shuttering the stores and whether buyers would make such a large purchase without a test drive.
The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the top US securities regulator adds pressure on Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $35,000.
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Last year, the SEC opened an investigation into Tesla and Musk after he tweeted that he planned to take Tesla private and already had the financing to do it - an assertion that proved false but nonetheless made investors who bet against the company lose millions.
The company has been pushed to cut costs in recent weeks having suffered its "most challenging" year in its history.
Pricing and specifications are under wraps until the Model Y is launched later this week, but Musk has indicated that it will be priced around 10 per cent dearer than the Model 3.
Separately, a NY attorney on Monday announced that Tesla's former chief of security has filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It also contradicts its intention to give up test drives because of the existing 1,000 miles or 7 days return policy. Most of Tesla's leases didn't have cancellation clauses, either, leaving the company exposed to potential lawsuits. That's a price point needed to reach more consumers and generate the sales that the company needs to survive, Musk has said.
Less than a fortnight ago the electric auto maker said it was taking sales nearly entirely online in a move it said would reduce the cost of selling a vehicle by up to 6pc and help lower the cost of its cheapest auto, the Model 3, down to $35,000 (£26,700).
The blog post doesn't give a rationale for why Tesla is backpedaling.