Tesla will keep stores open, vehicle price increase coming after March 18

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Now, however, the company has backtracked, saying in a blog post that it has taken a close look at each of its stores and realized it makes more sense to keep a lot of them open. When we recently closed 10% of sales locations, we selected stores that didn't invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for.

The renewed public battle between Tesla's CEO and the SEC adds pressure on Musk, the public face of the electric vehicle-maker who is struggling to make it profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $35,000.

Tesla says the move will allow it to keep open more of its Tesla stores than previously planned.

Tesla said it would close the stores in order to be able sell its EVs more cheaply, but the WSJ pointed out that Tesla would still be on the hook for $1.6 billion worth of leases.

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But the company has since made a decision to keep "significantly" more stores open, it said on its blog. Musk did not specify how many stores would close, or how many jobs would be lost as a result.

It is still planning to conduct its sales online and said that buyers in stores will be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone, a process which Tesla says will take just a few minutes.

Potential Tesla vehicle buyers will have a week to place orders before prices rise for the Model S and X, the company said. In addition, there are another 20% of locations that are under review, and depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner's request.

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