Along with launching its long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, Tesla announced that it is taking car sales to the internet -- exclusively. That shift is apparently a part of why it's going to be able to lower prices by a claimed 6 percent on average, as it winds down "many" store locations. A few spots in high-traffic areas will remain as galleries and showcases, even as it ramps up the service system with a goal of providing same-day or even same-hour appointments where techs come to you.
That does mean Tesla will fire some employees. On a call with the media, CEO Elon Musk said "We will be closing some stores and there will be some reduction in head count as a result." For customers, Tesla is hoping that by offering the ability to return their car at no cost within the first 7 days or 1,000 miles is enough to remove the need for a test drive.
Musk sent out an internal memo to employees expanding on his statements about layoffs. CNBC posted it in full, as the exec told employees: "Unfortunately, this means that some jobs will be impacted or transitioned to other areas of the business. This is a hard decision, but it necessary to make our cars more affordable...In the coming weeks, we will be evaluating all of our sales and marketing organization to understand where there are operation efficiencies"