Tesla’s sudden decision to shutter the bulk of its stores around the world raises a red flag over the future of its solar branch, a declining business it paid $2.6 billion (roughly Rs. 18,460 crores) for in a controversial 2016 deal.

Chief Executive Elon Musk’s announcement on Thursday that the electric vehicle maker would close “many” of its stores around the world to sell cars online-only removes the only retail outlet for solar sales since Musk pulled the plug on a partnership with Home Depot last June.

“Solar is now the stepchild at Tesla. They’ve made two decisions in a row that deal crippling blows to the solar business and they may be regretting the Home Depot idea,” said Frank Gillett, principal analyst at Forrester Research.

“It doesn’t feel thoughtfully done, it’s rushed. Basically, it will hurt them from a brand and marketing point of view,” Gillett said.

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US. electrical generation by renewables grew 4.5 percent in 2018

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