More layoffs at Tesla as Elon Musk moves all sales online, announces $35,000 price tag for Model 3

Tesla plans to tackle the need for a test-drive by extending its return policy. Customers can now buy a car, own it for a week or drive it for 1,000 miles, and still ask for a refund.

Following a series of teasers on Twitter, Elon Musk finally revealed his big Tesla news on Thursday - the arrival of the much-awaited Model 3. To the surprise of many, the electric car maker was able to significantly bring down the cost of Model 3 to $35,000, having made a drastic shift in its sales strategy along with a few other cost-effective measures.

These strategy changes include Tesla’s shift to online-only sales, a move which would also lead to a reduction in “headcount”, said the billionaire CEO.

“We will be closing some stores and that will be some reduction in headcount as a result, there’s no question about that,” Musk said.

“There’s no other way for us to achieve the savings required to provide this car and be financially sustainable. I wish there was another way, but unfortunately, it will entail reduction in workforce on the retail side, no way around it.”

Musk did not shed details regarding the exact number of layoffs in Tesla’s retail department, nor did he provide the number of inoperative stores. But stores that continue to operate in high-traffic areas, he said, will be turned into information centres and showrooms.

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6 percent on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected,” the company later explained.

The news comes on the heels of the Model 3 and a special Model 3 Standard Range Plus version announcement. Priced at $37,000, the Standard Range Plus is capable of a top speed of 140 mph with a range of 240 miles, while the Standard Range offers 220 miles of range and a top speed of 130 mph.

With a number of Tesla stores closing down, however, the company will be extending its return policy. This is to enable customers to own a car for at least a week or drive it for 1,000 miles, and still be able to return it.

“And we’re going to make it super easy to get a refund like one-click refund,” Musk added.

Also read: Here's why Elon Musk reminded the world about Tesla's patents being available for good use


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