Tesla's Elon Musk vs. the SEC: Did he violate a court order?

Tesla's Elon Musk vs. the SEC: Did he violate a court order?

Such a criticism could not be leveled at Tesla's now-closed store in Washington, DC, located in the city's newest and poshest downtown retail location; perhaps this store was one that suffered from "low apparent demand generation".

"Over the past two weeks we have been closely evaluating every single Tesla retail location, and we have chose to keep significantly more stores open than previously announced as we continue to evaluate them over the course of several months", Tesla said in a statement. Some of those stores that have closed may now reopen with a smaller crew. In a blog post, the company said about half the locations it was planning to close will stay open. All the rest appear safe, for now.

While the Model 3 will keep its recently discounted price of $35,000, the price of all Model S and Model X Teslas will rise 3 percent worldwide, Tesla said.

Last year, the SEC opened an investigation into Tesla and Musk after he tweeted that he planned to take Tesla private and already had the financing to do it - an assertion that proved false but nonetheless made investors who bet against the company lose millions.

The move does not affect Tesla's decision to move all purchases onto the internet, as the stores will simply shift to a policy of helping customers with their online purchases. It also has locations on Long Island, in Westchester and in Northern New Jersey.

Tesla didn't provide a reason for the U-turn other than saying it followed a two-week evaluation of all the company's retail locations. Tesla wants to increase its vehicle transportation capacity and cut delivery times. While this is normal in the auto industry, a close comparison of Tesla's 2019 sales figures shows steeper declines for the company compared to other vendors.


On Feb. 19 Musk tweeted that Tesla would produce around 500,000 vehicles this year - a tweet that wasn't blessed by the person in charge of baby-sitting Musk's Twitter account as required by the fraud settlement.

Legal experts have said the SEC could now pursue multiple avenues, including a higher fine, imposing further restrictions on Musk's activities or removing him from Tesla's board or helm.

The company said it would await the results of a further review on the usefulness of physical locations, and only cut the original price of the auto be "about 3%".

Before the announcement, the cheapest Model 3 started at $42,900.

Tesla had said less than two weeks ago that it would begin shutting most of its stores in a cost-cutting move created to help reduce the price of its bestselling vehicle, the Model 3, to as low as $35,000.

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