Car Industry

Tesla hits brakes on retail store closures, will raise prices instead

You have a week to order under the current prices.

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You'll keep seeing Tesla stores after all.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla on Sunday pulled a U-turn on its plan to close all its retail stores.

Around half of the stores Tesla planned to close will remain open, and the carmaker will increase prices on its higher-end Model 3, Model S and Model X "by about 3 percent on average worldwide," it said in a statement.

The price hike won't apply to the new $35,000 Model 3 (getting this to market was the reason for the original closure plan) and won't come into effect until March 18 -- so you still have a week to get your order in if you've been mulling it over.

A couple of closed stores in "high visibility locations" will reopen with smaller crews, and stores will carry a reduced inventory for people who can't wait to get their cars. 

"To be clear, all sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes," the company noted.

Tesla will also keep 20 percent of its stores under review for a few months, after which it'll either keep them open or close them.

Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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