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Tesla's global job cuts include leading markets US, China

Published 04/16/2024, 03:04 AM
Updated 04/16/2024, 10:35 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors check a Tesla Model 3 car next to a Model Y displayed at a showroom of the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker in Beijing, China February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
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SHANGHAI/BERLIN (Reuters) -Tesla's global job cuts include reducing staff in the U.S. and China, the automakers' two biggest markets, across sales, tech, and engineering, five sources briefed on the matter said.

CEO Elon Musk on Monday told staff in an internal memo seen by Reuters that the company is laying off more than 10% of its global workforce, as it grapples with falling sales and an intensifying price war for electric vehicles.

Several U.S.-based service centres saw heavy layoffs effective immediately, primarily of sales staff and technicians, one source said. Another location laid off all front-of-house staff, the source said.

A Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) programme manager in California posted a spreadsheet on LinkedIn of over 140 staff, mostly engineers, who had been laid off and were seeking new jobs.

Two sources said members of Tesla's China sales team were being notified they were being made redundant, with one saying more than 10% were losing their jobs.

A third source said that in Shanghai, where Tesla's largest plant is located, the company will only lay off a small proportion of staff, amounting to "several dozen" people.

Tesla shares fell 4% to $154.82 on Tuesday. They closed down 5.6% on Monday.

"The sweeping layoffs ... should now leave no doubt that the decline in deliveries has been a function of lower demand and not supply," analysts at J.P.Morgan said, adding that it "has far-reaching implications for the hypergrowth narrative still embedded in Tesla's share price".

Tesla's U.S. headquarters and its China unit did not immediately respond to requests for comment. All the sources declined to be named as they were not permitted to speak to media.

The Shanghai and Beijing local governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tesla Germany refuted reports in German media that 3,000 of the carmaker's roughly 12,000 staff had been fired, and said it was evaluating how to implement Musk's orders at the plant.

"We will pursue the measure for Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg against the background of all labour law and co-determination requirements, bringing in the works council," Tesla Germany said on Tuesday in an emailed statement to Reuters, adding no workers had been notified yet.

German union IG Metall said on Monday that Tesla had not informed or consulted the works council, as is customary in Germany, prior to emailing all staff.

While German labour law has strict rules on firing staff, around 1,000 workers at the plant are on temporary contracts, according to a source with knowledge of the matter, leaving them more vulnerable to dismissal.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors check a Tesla Model 3 car next to a Model Y displayed at a showroom of the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker in Beijing, China February 4, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

Tesla faces increasing competition in China in a fierce price war with rivals led by BYD (SZ:002594), slowing sales in the United States, as well as high investment costs in new models and artificial intelligence.

Global vehicle deliveries in the first quarter fell for the first time in nearly four years, as price cuts failed to stir demand.

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