Recently, there have been rumors of Tesla stores closing and employees being laid off. It culminated today when a trusted Tesla leaker ElonsVelvetJacket posted the worrisome claim on Reddit that “effective immediately many Tesla stores will be permanently closed’.
It would be surprising for Tesla to close locations as it is about to significantly increase its volume with the upcoming launch of the Model 3, but knowing ElonsVelvetJacket’s track record, we reached out to Tesla to get more details on what is happening.
As it turns out, the company is not closing any location, but there’s a light restructuring that is being misinterpreted.
Tesla operates several different types of retail and service locations, like small stores inside malls to take advantage of foot traffic, full-size store and service centers, also known as “service plus” locations – like pictured above, which resemble more traditional car dealerships, and they have service-only locations.
They also recently opened some temporary “delivery centers”, but deliveries are generally handled at service locations.
Now what prompted the rumor shared by ElonsVelvetJacket is the fact that Tesla is closing the retail parts of some locations in order to focus on service and deliveries ahead of the Model 3 launch.
We were told that it affects only 7 locations in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Texas, for a total of roughly 35 employees being affected. Most of them will be transferred to other local stores with higher foot traffic, like in malls, while a few will be offered the opportunity to apply to other jobs.
The company said that they are not closing any locations and that the store affected will continue to operate as service centers. They are also continuing to hire more customer-facing employees.
Separately but also somewhat related to this, someone claiming to be a Tesla store employee posted in ElonsVelvetJacket’s thread:
“As an employee in a mall location, we were told a few weeks ago that upper management was going to begin cracking down hard on underperforming stores. I was explicitly told layoffs would occur if necessary, no mention was made of actual store closures though so who knows if this is related.”
It’s not exactly related since Tesla is actually moving the employees to other locations and closing the retail stores, but as part of their usual performance review process, Tesla has also been replacing sales leads at other locations, which is likely what the commenter is referring to.
To be fair, between all its stores, galleries, and service centers, Tesla has over 160 locations in the US and therefore, it seems like the vast majority are unaffected by these changes.
What’s going on at your local Tesla store? Let us know in the comment section below.