DETROIT (AP) — Tesla is walking back plans to close most of its showrooms worldwide and has announced price hikes for most of its electric vehicles.
Tesla announced last month that it would shutter most of its stores to cut costs so it could sell its lower-priced Model 3 for $35,000. But as the company continues its shift to toward online-only sales, it now says it won’t close as many stores as originally thought.
The $35,000 base Model 3 will still be available, but the company is raising prices by 3 percent on all other models.
In a Monday filing with government regulators, Tesla said it closed 10 percent of its stores, but a few of those will now remain open. Another 20 percent are being evaluated, and some could remain open.
The company gave no numbers, but said it would close only about half the stores that it had intended to. It has 378 stores and service centers worldwide and about 100 stores in the U.S. If the company closes 30 percent of the stores, that would equal about 110.
“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. “We will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half.”
Remaining stores could have fewer workers but will have vehicles available for test drives and a small inventory in case people want to buy immediately, the statement said. The company said it still plans to offer buyers the ability to return purchased vehicles at no cost after a seven-day or 1,000 mile test drive.
A Tesla spokesman declined comment Monday beyond the company’s statement.
Shares of Tesla Inc. edged up less than 1 percent in Monday trading.