Tesla to cut workforce by 7% and focus on Model 3 production

Tesla is cutting 7% of its full-time workforce. The company disclosed the headcount reduction in an update emailed to all employees and also posted to its website.
In the email, CEO Elon Musk says the focus must be on delivering “at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets”. He also warns those employees not set to be axed that there are “many companies that can offer a better work-life balance, because they are larger and more mature or in industries that are not so voraciously competitive”.
“We unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7% (we grew by 30% last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors,” he writes.
“Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn’t any other way.”
Last October Musk tweeted that Tesla’s headcount was 45,000 — suggesting some 3,150 jobs are set to go.
The move follows a number of cost-cutting efforts at the electric car maker, including an announcement this week that a long-running buyer referral program will end this month. Musk said the program was adding too much cost to the cars.
Three months ago Tesla also announced a new, cheaper mid-range battery version of the car — starting at $45,000; though still not the $35,000 base-spec Model 3 (before incentives) that was originally promised.
His full note to employees is pasted below.
CNBC reports that Tesla shares fell almost 6% in premarket trading following the news.

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