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Tesla will raise the price of its vehicles after going back on a recent decision to close most of its stores

Tesla will raise the price of its vehicles after going back on a recent decision to close most of its stores

InsideEVs, a publication close to Tesla, tracks U.S. 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 recently unveiled $35,000 Model 3 - Tesla's cheapest vehicle yet - will not be affected by the price hike.

Tesla said the increase is to cover the cost of keeping more of its physical stores open.

"Depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will remain open". Some of those, in high-visibility locations, may be reopened, the company says.

Elon Musk is backtracking from a jarring change in Tesla Inc.'s retailing strategy, keeping numerous company's stores open and raising the prices of its electric cars as a result. Musk did not specify how many stores would close, or how many jobs would be lost as a result. "These are stores that we would have closed anyway, even if in-store sales made up our entire sales model", the company said.

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Since New Year's, Tesla has announced three rounds of price cuts on all its models, including $2,000 in January, $1,100 in February, and $8,000 to $13,000 March 4.

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Despite the about-face, the company claims it is still moving to an online-only sales model, with store staff instructing buyers how to purchase their new auto online.

The move comes days after Tesla's announcement to sell cars on an online-only platform to help save costs.

Tesla also announced Monday that it had purchased car-hauling trucks and trailers from a California company in a stock deal worth about $14.2 million.

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However, the long-promised $US35,000 Model 3 will not be impacted by the increase. Tesla says that stores will cary a "small number" of cars in inventory so that some buyers can drive away in a Tesla right away.

Its least expensive vehicle, the $35,000 Model 3, will stay that price, though the cost of the more expensive Model 3s, and the S and X, will go back up. Since Tesla's inception, the company has never posted positive earnings over a year.

The talks come as Tesla looks to localize battery cell production and push forward with the 500,000-vehicle-capacity Shanghai plant, expected to be completed in May.

Tesla is still sticking with its plan for all orders for its vehicles to take place online - even in its brick-and-mortar outlets.

Tesla disclosed Monday in a government filing that it had shuttered 10 percent of its retail locations, but it is now reevaluating each of its stores. However, cars will still be available for test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner's request.

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