Tesla to keep 70% of shops and raise prices with 3%
Tesla is keeping more than half of the number of its dealerships in spite of what was announced earlier. Apparently it wasn’t such a good idea after all. However, Tesla will raise the price of all its cars – except the so-called ‘$35.000 car’ – with 3% to keep profitability.
To gild the pill, the American car maker says “potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices raise, so current prices are valid until March 18th.”
$35.000 Model 3
On March 1st, Tesla announced it is going to deliver on the promise of the cheapest version of its Model 3 at 35.000 dollar before taxes (30.860 euro). In an attempt to gain profitability anyway, Tesla said it would cut drastically in its network of dealerships and go fully for online sales.
But “after two weeks of closely evaluating every single Tesla retail place, we have decided to keep significantly more stores open than announced before” the company states on its website on Monday.
It will push online sales further, though, and will show people how to order their Tesla on their smartphone when they come to the shop. Tesla will keep its return policy of a full refund if the car is returned within seven days, though. It hopes to cut the need for time-consuming test drivers this ways.
Already 10% closed
The company says it already closed 10% of its shops. Those would have been closed anyway as these are shops “that didn’t invite the natural foot traffic our stores have always been designed for”.
Tesla will reopen a small number of those shops “in high visibility locations” with a smaller staff than before. Another 20% of the stores Tesla will hold up to the light and “depending on their effectiveness over the next few months, some will be closed and some will stay open”.
In total Tesla has some 378 shops worldwide. In Belgium Tesla runs four stores. In The Netherlands nine in total, with the Tilburg factory included where the Model S and X are assembled.
Chinese loan for factory
In the meantime, Tesla managed to get a 520 million dollar loan out of a Chinese bank consortium for its Shanghai factory it is going to build. The credit line is only to be used for the construction and production of the Chinese Gigafactory.
For the latter, Elon Musk wants to finish construction this summer and start building the Model 3 for the local market by the end of the year. Production of the premium models stays in the US.
The new Gigafactory – Tesla’s first outside the US – occupies a 865.000 square metres terrain in Lingang near Shanghai, an industrial zone with several high-tech manufacturing facilities and will cost 5 billion dollar, according to the Bloomberg news agency. Production capacity of the new factory will be 500.000 cars a year.