Economy

Elon Musk Tweets Cause Tesla Investors To Sue, SEC Get Angry

Elon Musk Tweets Cause Tesla Investors To Sue, SEC Get Angry

The company did emphasize that all sales would still be online only-salespeople will show customers how to order vehicles via an app. Now, Tesla said, a few from the already-closed group in high-visibility spots will even be reopened.

Tesla just took to its official blog to announce that it would not be closing as many stores as it had initially planned and would be raising prices 3% on select configurations of the Model 3, S, and X, effective March 18th.

Tesla last month said it will close "many" of its 378 stores as it moves to online-only sales, but in Sunday's announcement the company said it will revise lower the number it closes.

The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the top USA 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.

It has now confirmed in a statement released yesterday that it will be keeping "significantly more stores open than previously announced".

In a statement on Sunday, the vehicle maker said potential buyers can place orders until March 18 at the old prices.

More news: Tesla decides to keep more stores open and raise prices instead

Because many states mandate that only dealers, not manufacturers, can sell cars in stores, Tesla customers don't technically close the deal at the showroom.

'As a result Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3 percent on average worldwide'. InsideEVs, a publication close to Tesla, tracks USA electric vehicle deliveries and according to its numbers, January and February deliveries were down by around 80 percent compared to the months leading up.

The company stressed that its lowest-priced EV, the $35,000 Model 3, will not get a price hike.

Its launch date was announced last week by Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk following the warmly welcomed, $US35,000 ($A49,750 at today's rates) base model of the all-electric Model 3 sedan. The policy allows new buyers to drive the auto for 1000 miles or seven days. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner's request.

And despite test drives being one of the biggest draw cards of the stores, the company is confident that its "1000 miles or 7 days" return policy will negate customers' need to try a very expensive vehicle before they actually buy one. Though the company noted that most orders occur through the Tesla website, that's probably a function of eager Tesla buyers willing to pull the trigger with not so much as a test drive.