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Tesla postpones price hike to Wednesday because of 'unusually high volumes'

Unusual is an interesting choice of words, given most people's aversion to paying more for the same product.

Tesla Alaska Testing Facility
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Last week, Tesla announced an abrupt shift in strategy, choosing to keep some of its retail stores afloat and raising vehicle prices to make up for it. Now, the automaker has kicked the can down the road a bit.

Tesla tweeted today that, "due to unusually high volume," the automaker will postpone its price hike until Wednesday. The price adjustment, which amounts to a 3-percent average increase on most models worldwide, was supposed to take effect Monday, one week after Tesla first announced its adjusted strategy.

Now, potential buyers have until 12 a.m. PT on Wednesday to lock in their orders before the price hikes take effect. A 3-percent increase in pricing on US vehicles would raise prices between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on the model. Tesla's fabled $35,000 Model 3, now known as the Model 3 Standard Range, is the only variant that will avoid the bump.

Tesla announced in late February that it intended to shutter all its brick-and-mortar retail stores in favor of online-only sales. CEO Elon Musk said on a conference call that this decision was made with money in mind, and that cutting the costs associated with these stores would give the company the financial leeway to build the $35,000 Model 3. At the same time, the company said it would pass some of that savings on to the consumer by way of lowering Model S and Model X prices. The subsequent U-turn came about two weeks later.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Tesla. In addition to flip-flopping John Kerry-style on its pricing and retail strategy, the automaker also unveiled the Model Y, a Model 3-based SUV that borrows the bulkier butt of the Model X without the annoyance of overcomplicated rear doors. It's relatively affordable, starting at $39,000 for the Standard Range variant, but it's not slated for release until late 2020.