Sun, Oct 15, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Tesla lays off 400 employees, citing ‘annual reviews’


Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc fired about 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee said on Friday.

The dismissals were a result of a companywide annual review, Tesla said in an e-mailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company.

“It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. We don’t know how high up it went,” said the former employee, who worked on the assembly line and did not want to be identified.

Although Tesla cited performance as the reason for the firings, the source told reporters he was fired in spite of never having been given a bad review.

The Palo Alto, California-based company said earlier in the month that “production bottlenecks” had left Tesla behind its planned ramp-up for the new Model 3 mass-market sedan.

The company delivered 220 Model 3 sedans and produced 260 during the third quarter of the year. In July, it began production of the Model 3, which starts at US$35,000 — half the starting price of the company’s Model S.

The Mercury News had earlier reported about the firing of hundreds of employees by Tesla in the past week.

Separately, Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp are pressing for an incentive package of at least US$1 billion from US states trying to land their US$1.6 billion joint car factory, people familiar with the negotiations said.

Toyota and Mazda plan to brief their boards on a shortlist of states contending for the plant in the coming weeks and announce a final selection by the end of year, the people said.

The tax breaks and other support that Toyota and Mazda are said to be asking for could rival the package Nevada in 2014 approved for Tesla’s Reno battery factory that was valued at as much as US$1.25 billion. The Japanese carmakers have positioned themselves to drive a hard bargain with states by pledging to create as many as 4,000 jobs.

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