Tesla delays its March price increase

Tesla has delayed its price increase this week, with the electric car company confirming that would-be buyers have a few more days than initially expected to get their order in. The automaker confirmed earlier this month that, having lowered prices just a week beforehand, it would be nudging them back up again in mid-March.

The shuffle came amid Tesla's rapidly-evolving plans around shuttering the majority of its dealerships. Initially, the intention had been to close all but a handful of locations, which would remain open in high-traffic areas to act as EV showcases. The majority of would-be Tesla buyers, however, would take advantage of a seven day test drive to decide whether they wanted to keep they new car, and all orders would be processed online rather than in-person.

As a result of the store closures, Tesla said, it could afford to lower the prices of its cars. Depending on model, it meant as much as $18,000 reduced from the sticker price.

However that all changed the following week. Tesla had a rethink, and decided not to close as many stores as it originally intended. That, it warned, would bite into the price cuts it had promised, with customers given until midnight on Monday, March 18 to get their order in. After that point, advertised prices would rise by around 3-percent.

Monday's deadline, however, didn't go without a hitch. "Due to unusually high volume, Tesla was unable to process all orders by midnight on Monday," the automaker said today, "so the slight price rise on vehicles is postponed to midnight Wednesday."

It's good news for anybody on the fence about ordering one of the company's electric cars, though it won't make a Model Y arrive on your driveway any sooner. The new Tesla crossover was officially revealed last week, a more upright and spacious version of the Model 3, with the option of three rows of seating inside. Like the Model 3 it will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, with a Model Y Performance at the top end with the fastest acceleration.

Pricing for the Model Y would start at $39,000, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed last week, though that Standard Range model wouldn't actually be among the variants of the EV in the first wave of production. Instead, Tesla will initially be manufacturing the Long Range, Dual Motor AWD, and Performance cars, with that expected to kick off in late 2020. The Model Y Standard Range, meanwhile, isn't likely to arrive until sometime in 2021.