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The electric vehicle maker said in a statement late Sunday that prices for most models worldwide would go up by about 3% after it made a decision to "keep significantly more stores open than previously announced". As a result of the closures the electric-car maker would be able to keep the price of its new mid-market Model 3 at US$35,000.

This weekend, Tesla said it has decided "to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced", and will even reopen some of the ones it has already shut down, albeit will less crew on deck. The company also has a list of about one hundred stores that it's evaluating: Some will close and others will stay, it says. Some stores will also have a small number of cars available for immediate delivery.

The hike will not affect Tesla's base Model 3, which $35,000 price tag makes it the most affordable of Tesla's lineup.

Lawyers for Tesla chief Elon Musk on Monday argued that United States regulators overstepped their bounds by calling for him to be held in contempt for a tweet.

Tesla disclosed Monday in a government filing that it had shuttered 10 percent of its retail locations, but it is now reevaluating each of its stores.

Many Tesla sales employees were left wondering whether their stores - and jobs - would be among those immediately cut.

Pricing and specifications are under wraps until the Model Y is launched later this week, but Musk has indicated that it will be priced around 10 per cent dearer than the Model 3.

According to Tesla's blog, the preference for conducting sales online will continue and said buyers in stores would be trained to order a Tesla on phone, which is a rapid process.

As part of that settlement, Musk stepped down as the company's chairman and he and Tesla agreed to pay $20 million each in fines. And the generous return policy of 1000 miles or 7 days, whichever comes first, should alleviate the need for most test drives at stores at the potential Tesla owner's request. Most of Tesla's leases didn't have cancellation clauses, either, leaving the company exposed to potential lawsuits. The company hasn't yet clarified why it partly reversed its initial decision, but Engadget has reached out for more information.

"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 $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected", Tesla said at the end of February.

Justin Hammond, who bought a Model S 75D just eight week prior to the cost reductions branded the move as "terrible" and said he no longer trusted the brand. Since Tesla's inception, the company has never posted positive earnings over a year.