Tesla will be shifting its worldwide sales model to an online-only platform, starting with North America, the company said in a statement last week.
The electric OEM will also be closing many of its brick-and-mortar dealerships, leaving “a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases, and Tesla information centers,” the company said. The announcement comes in tandem with the unveiling of a new price point for the company’s Standard Model 3 sedan — starting at $35,000.
The shift to an online-only platform, along with other cost-cutting measures, has allowed Tesla to reduce the starting price point of its fleet by 6%. In an internal email, Chief Executive Elon Musk defended the decision to shift to an online-only sales model by pointing to two key sales statistics from 2017:
“Last year, 78% of all Model 3 orders were placed online, rather than in a store, and 82% of customers bought their Model 3 without ever having taken a test drive.”
Tesla also intends to bolster its value proposition by further investing in its same-day, straight-to-consumer servicing system.
A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment further.