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Elon Musk Tweets Cause Tesla Investors To Sue, SEC Get Angry

12 March 2019

American electric vehicle maker Tesla has raised auto prices by an average 3 percent, worldwide.

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.

Cost savings from store closures will now be only about half the expected amount, Tesla said, as the company will shut half the number of stores it had originally planned.

Tesla has pulled a U-turn on plans to close nearly all of its dealerships while announcing price rises for its more expensive cars.

The price hikes will go into effect in a week, giving potential buyers a chance to place orders before that happens.

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In a Monday filing with government regulators, Tesla now says it closed 10 percent of its stores, but a few of those will now remain open. As a result, Tesla has announced that it will once again adjust its pricing to reflect the additional costs of running retail operations.

Even though Tesla sales worldwide are moving online, potential customers will still be able to book a test drive through one of the stores.

Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey called the move "startling" and said it undermines the credibility of Musk and Tesla's management.

On Sunday, however, the company said it would reduce the number of retail store closures.

The company earlier announced a switch to online-only sales in hopes of cutting costs while boosting demand and the firm's stock price as it had a billion-dollar debt payment to make.

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In order to support those retail locations, Tesla will raise prices by about 3 percent across the board.

Overall, it will only be shuttering half as many stores as it was going to. Tesla will offer vehicles for test drives at its stores at the buyer's request, and there will be a small number of cars in inventory for those who want to drive off in their new auto the same day.

The abrupt decision by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to wind down stores after years of expanding Tesla's network of retail spaces sparked concern about the company's finances.

Other than that, Tesla is not giving much away: accompanying the invitation is a high contrast image of the front profile of the electric SUV, which appears (rightly so) to have a higher roof than the Model 3.

On Feb. 28, the company said shifting totally to online sales would allow it to lower all vehicle prices by 6 percent, on average, including its higher-end Model S and Model X.

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Elon Musk Tweets Cause Tesla Investors To Sue, SEC Get Angry