Tesla backtracks on recently-announced plan to close its stores

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

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 United States, around £26,400 in the United Kingdom - although prices for Britain are yet to be confirmed.

Less than two weeks after announcing a plan to shift all of its sales online in effort to cut costs, Tesla now says it will keep physical stores open and instead raise the prices of a slew of its vehicles.

Last month, we announced that we would be winding down many of our stores and moving to online-only sales in order to pass the savings along to our customers.

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While it is as yet unknown if the Model Y will be made immediately available in the base version, it is known that there will be a mix of the shorter range base Model 3 and higher range and spec'd models being produced at the same time at Tesla's Fremont vehicle factory.

Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey called the move "startling" and said it undermines the credibility of Musk and Tesla's management.

A few stores in high-visibility locations that were closed because of low throughput would be reopened with a smaller Tesla crew and would carry fewer cars in inventory. The auto firm is backtracking on its plans to close most of its stores worldwide after a period of evaluation.

Earlier today Tesla announced its long-awaited $US35,000 Model 3.

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Tesla has been making efforts to cut costs.

The company has already lowered prices for the Model 3 a number of times.

Musk's lawyers face a Monday deadline to file a legal brief explaining to a NY federal judge why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court for an inaccurate February 19 tweet that could have influenced the company's stock price. Apparently potential Tesla customers who walk into a store will be shown how to order one on their phones. Of course, anyone ordering a Tesla to their home sight unseen will be able to return the auto after 1,000 miles or seven days (whichever is first) thanks to the company's new return policy announced last month. The company hasn't yet clarified why it partly reversed its initial decision, but Engadget has reached out for more information.

On Feb. 28, the company said shifting totally to online sales would allow it to lower all vehicle prices by 6 percent, on average, including its higher-end Model S and Model X.

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The company has now published a blog post which backflipped on this decision. Sales of the Model 3 have fallen almost 80 percent since that time.