Tesla to lay off over 10 per cent of staff as sales fall

Hopes of a cheaper vehicle failed to materialise during the release of Tesla's quarterly earnings. Photo: AAP

Hopes of a cheaper vehicle failed to materialise during the release of Tesla's quarterly earnings. Photo: AAP Photo: AAP

Tesla will lay off more than 10 per cent of its global workforce, an internal memo seen by Reuters shows, as it grapples with falling sales amid an intensifying price war for electric vehicles.

The world’s largest auto maker by market value had 140,473 employees globally as of December 2023, its latest annual report shows.

The memo did not say how many jobs would be affected.

“As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk says in the memo.

“As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organisation and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10 per cent globally.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla shares were down 0.3 per cent in pre-market trading on Monday.

The planned job cuts come after Tesla reported earlier in April that its global vehicle deliveries in the first quarter fell for the first time in nearly four years, as price cuts failed to stir demand.

Tesla, which reports quarterly earnings on April 23, is braced for a slowdown in 2024 after years of rapid sales growth.

The EV maker has been slow to refresh its ageing models as high interest rates have sapped consumer appetite for big-ticket items, while rivals in China, the world’s largest auto market, are rolling out cheaper models.

Reuters reported this month that Tesla has cancelled a long-promised inexpensive car that investors have been counting on to drive mass market growth.

The company is looking to shore up its margins, which have been dented by repeated price cuts.

It recorded a gross profit margin of 17.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, the lowest in more than four years.

Tesla had previously laid off four per cent of its workforce in New York in February 2023 as part of a performance review cycle and before a union campaign was to be launched by its employees.

Tech publication Electrek first reported the job cuts.

Topics: Tesla
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