Tesla announce plan to close stores, Auckland store's future unknown
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In a big global dual announcement, Tesla have confirmed that they will commence the closure of most of its stores world-wide in an attempt to cut company costs.
The move will see Tesla customers by and large make their car purchases through the brand's website. Tesla says that buyers will now get a week to return their purchased car if they're unhappy with it.
The American manufacturer have never been too far from gossip and speculation, but a weird detail on their website last week got eyebrows fluttering — the removal of the hallowed 'US$35,000' base-spec Model 3 from their website.
It had been speculated for over a year that the base-model Model 3 could be culled from the line-up due to a lack of viability. And many assumed that the removal of the car from its website was its death knell. However that doesn't appear to be the case.
Closing stores worldwide saves Tesla money not just through property and maintenance, but also through the culling of staff. Unfortunately, this will leave thousands of Tesla employees out of a job.
It hasn't been confirmed yet which stores will be closed and which will remain. Tesla have said that some will remain as a took for showcasing technology to Joe and Jill Blogs off the street.
Among those in the lurch not knowing what the future holds is the Auckland City story, which only opened last June. It is one of the most complex and comprehensive buildings in the motoring industry here, and features a showroom, charging parking lot, service department, and more.
Our friends at the Herald spoke to staff at the Auckland store today. They were shocked by the announcement, with a spokesperson from Tesla New Zealand stating that they didn't have anything to say. Approximately 25 people work at the premises.
Tesla are yet to formally confirm when the right-hand drive version of the Model 3 (in its base-spec or otherwise) will become available in New Zealand. But it's expected to land here later this year.