The company has 378 stores and service locations worldwide.
Employees who answered the phone Friday at the Orlando dealership said they had not been notified about the it closing and for now it would remain open. A "small number" of stores located in high-traffic areas will be converted to galleries, showcases, or information centers, the company says. A survey by research firm BCG published previous year suggested that 40 percent of customers worldwide are comfortable buying their next vehicle online. Musk says it will be possible to order a vehicle using a smartphone in under a minute.
For existing Tesla customers, maintenance would shift to mobile fix crews.
When the chief executive officer announced plans to dismiss about 9 percent of the electric-car maker's workforce in June, he wrote in an internal memo that Tesla was "making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again". All other new-car sellers in the USA rely on independent dealerships to reach customers.
The Tesla brand, and its ramped up production capabilities, make it likely the cheap (er) Model 3 will turn out to be a popular proposition. Shares of the company took a beating Thursday and were down more than 8 percent in late-day trading.
In an effort to cut costs, Elon Musk has announced the company is shifting to an online-only sales model. But customers who reserved the Model 3 at that lower price have waited almost three years since Musk first promised it.
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The main point of accusation is that the company bribed Libyan officials with the aim of obtaining multi-billion dollar contracts. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a media availability in Montreal on Wednesday, Feb. 27 , 2019.
However, you'll now be able to return your new Tesla within seven days (or 1000 miles, whichever comes first) for a full refund if you're not happy with it.
As for Tesla's profitability, it's retreating from earlier predictions - with Musk acknowledging Thursday the company will remain in the red in the first quarter.
The arrival of the US$35,000 Model 3 had been largely anticipated - although it came months earlier than expected - but news that Tesla planned to dismantle its network of stores, a hallmark of its upscale sales strategy, caught many off-guard.
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Still, the price drop could quell concerns from some analysts that demand for the higher-priced versions of the Model 3 was beginning to dry up in the United States, especially after a federal tax credit was cut in half this year.
On the press call yesterday, Musk admitted that Tesla would not yet be profitable in the first quarter of 2019-a reversal from the rosy prediction he'd shared as recently as January 30, when he said the company would record profits in every quarter going forward.
"Electric vehicles now make up only about 2 per cent of global sales, and while we believe that number is likely to grow, we believe there is an education process that is crucial for new customers around charging, range, and other features that are unique to Tesla that will not be as readily available without the in-store experience".