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It will reopen a number of stores in "high visibility locations" with smaller staffs, and will monitor 20 percent of its stores over the next few months to determine if they will be shuttered.

Tesla shares rose 2.4 percent to $290.92 on Monday.

Since New Year's, Tesla has announced three rounds of price cuts on all its models, including $2,000 in January, $1,100 in February, and $8,000 to $13,000 March 4.

As part of the plan, customers will instead have to buy Tesla vehicles online or by phone rather than in person at one of its hundreds of retail outlets.

The move also allowed Tesla to introduce its much-anticipated US$35,000 ($50,000) entry-level Model 3 variant.

The SEC request that Musk be held in civil contempt "for a single, immaterial tweet that dutifully complied with the Order" is incorrect on the facts and on the law, the filing argued.

Tesla will raise the price of its vehicles after going back on a recent decision to close most of its stores.

Musk referred to some of the closed stores as being "in such hard or obscure locations, only Sherlock Holmes could find them". Tesla paid for the purchase with about 50,000 previously authorized shares.

Tesla Model 3 finally available but it will only sell online Tesla to slash sales force now that the Model 3 electric auto is finally ready to order. In terms of local pricing that translated to cuts of over 30%.

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

The judge has ordered Musk to file a brief by Monday explaining why he isn't in contempt for violating the court-approved settlement. The tweet was later corrected.

CleanTechnica spoke to several retail store employees after the news of Tesla closing retail stores went out and the sentiment was universally unsettled.

The news reads more like a stay of execution than a pardon, but surely comes as welcome news to the thousands of retail employees staffing its stores around the world that were left not knowing if they would even have jobs in the coming days or weeks after the company chose to close most of its stores. Sales of the Model 3 have fallen almost 80 percent since that time.

He said the sooner-than-expected arrival of a US$35,000 Model 3 likely reflected the need to replenish cash after paying off a US$920 million convertible bond and added that weak USA sales early this year also probably hasn't helped.