Tesla Sacks Several Hundred Employees

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As part of a company-wide annual review, Tesla has fired around 400 employees — including supervisors, team leaders, and common associates — according to a former employee who spoke with Reuters in an interview after Mercury News broke the story.

While a statement on the matter emailed to Reuters by Tesla states that the dismissals were the result of performance issues, the unnamed source quoted claims that he was never given a bad review before being fired (for whatever that’s worth).

“It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. We don’t know how high up it went,” the former assembly line employee stated.

“As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures,” Tesla’s statement read. “Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world.” There are over 2,000 openings on the company’s site, in fact.

Interesting news. Regardless of the story presented in Tesla’s emailed statement, it seems like the firings could have been related to unexpected and ongoing Model 3 production problems. Though, who knows? Such a large number of firings also doesn’t mean there was something directly connecting many of them together.

“The dismissals come after Tesla said it built just 260 Model 3 sedans during the third quarter, less than a fifth of its 1,500-unit forecast. The company has offered scant detail about the problems it’s having producing the car,” Bloomberg summarizes.

As a completely unsupported bit of speculation here, I’ll pose the question as to whether the recent firings are related to an attempt to mitigate unionization efforts at the company — which are apparently being bankrolled by competitors, if CEO Elon Musk is to be believed. [Editor’s note: again, this is completely unsupported speculation, but I had the same question pop into my head.]

Images by Maurizio Pesce (some rights reserved) & Steve Jurvetson (some rights reserved)

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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