Lots of layoffs expected at Tesla as the company shutters most of its retail stores

  • Tesla announced on Thursday that it was shifting to an online-only sales model.
  • “Many” of the company’s 378 stores will be closing, it said in a blog post, which will mean more layoffs.
  • In January, Tesla fired 7% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs.

In a surprise announcement on Thursday, Tesla said it was closing “many” of its 378 retail stores worldwide as it shifts to an online-only sales model.

That means another round of layoffs at the electric automaker, like the one that affected about 7% of its workforce in January in a bid to cut costs following its production ramp for the Model 3.

Tesla did not respond to questions from Business Insider about how many stores will be closing, or how many employees might be affected.

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $US35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected,” the company said.

“Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centres. The important thing for customers in the United States to understand is that, with online sales, anyone in any state can quickly and easily buy a Tesla.”

On a conference call with reporters and analysts, Musk said the closings were the only way to keep costs down.

“We will be closing some stores, and there will be a reduction in head count as a result,” he said. “There’s no other way for us to achieve the savings required.”

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