Tesla unveils cheaper model, shutters some stores

Tesla unveils cheaper model, shutters some stores
© Greg Nash

Tesla launched its long awaited cheaper Model 3 car and announced it would be moving the majority of its sales online Thursday.

The company announced on their website that the base Model 3 will be available for $35,000.

"To achieve these prices while remaining financially sustainable, Tesla is shifting sales worldwide to online only," the car manufacturer said.

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In a conference call Thursday, CEO Elon Musk said the car will be better than initially expected.

"The interior will be slightly better than was originally promised," Musk said, adding that the base price doesn't factor in tax incentives or gas savings that may further lower the cost of buying and owning a Tesla, according to NBC News.

"From the beginning, this has been the goal."

Musk said that given the changes, the company does not expect to turn a profit in Q1.

"Given that there is a lot happening in Q1, and we are taking a lot of one time charges, there are a lot of challenges getting cars to China and Europe, we do not expect to be profitable," he said. "We do think that profitability in Q2 is likely."

Pushing sales online means that stores will now be focused on displaying cars.

"You can buy your car on your phone in about one minute in the U.S.," Musk said. "We will still have stores, but they will be converted to galleries and information centers."

Musk also said Tesla will close some stores and lay off employees, to save money and lower the price of the car.