Last week, the price of a range-topping Tesla Model S or Model X became a whole lot cheaper. Both cars had their ‘P100D’ derivatives replaced with equally fast ‘Ludicrous Performance’ versions, each weighing in around £50,000 less expensive in the UK than the cars they replaced. A few days before, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla would be shifting to online sales, resulting in the closure of much of its dealer network.
Today, Tesla has announced that prices are now increasing, and that “significantly more” dealerships will be remaining open than before. The two things are linked: a price rise is necessary to pay for the partial U-turn on the forecourt decision.
The price hike is nowhere near as drastic as last the recent reductions, however: it’ll amount to three per cent on average worldwide, and it doesn’t affect the headline-grabbing $35,000 version of the Model 3.
Tesla is now closing only around half the dealers it was initially intending to, with the remaining stores under evaluation for the next few months. The announcement follows a Wall Street Journal report a few days ago regarding Tesla being tied up with many non-cancellable lease agreements.
The online-only ordering model isn’t changing - it won’t be possible to buy any cars from the locations, with the principle role of dealer staff being to inform potential customers about Tesla products.
The 1000 miles/seven days return policy remains, which should “alleviate the need for most test drives,” Tesla says. Conventional test drives will be available, however, and the stores will still hold a small inventory of vehicles.