Last month, electric car company Tesla announced that it was saying goodbye to brick-and-motor stores and would try to sell its cars completely online. Now, in a , the company has announced that it's not quite done with physical stores after all.
"Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location," the statement reads, "and we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months." Ten percent of the company's stores have already been shuttered, and another 10 percent are "under review," but that's as far as the cuts will go for now. Most of the company's 378 stores and services centers will stay open.
The saving grace will also mean that Tesla "will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide," the blog post reads, with an exception on its mass-market Model 3, whose lowered price has been a priority for the California-based company. Tesla calls this a trade-off: "We will only close about half as many stores, but the cost savings are therefore only about half."
Tesla's plan to shutter most of its physical stores was met with resistance, most notably . The company's move was a surprise to many: It had been negotiating and signing leases well into the 2020s right up until the announcement.
The shift means that Tesla will have physical spaces to market its newest vehicle, a small crossover SUV known as the Model Y. Tesla stores will still operate differently than other car dealerships. When inside, customers are instructed in how to buy a car through their phones. But being able to physically see a car before a purchase still has a psychological effect for customers, one apparently that Tesla has not found a way around yet.