Tesla has fired hundreds of workers across its engineering, management and factory divisions, as delays in the production of its latest Model 3 car look likely to continue.
The electric car company employs around 33,000 workers, with an estimated 400 – 700 losing their positions as part of its annual performance review.
While some staff received bonus payments and promotions, others – including workers in sales and admin alongside the manufacturing positions – were fired.
Despite a waiting list of more than 450,000 customers for its forthcoming Model 3 vehicle, Tesla produced just 260 of the cars during its last quarter, spectacularly missing its target of 1,500 models.
“Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “This includes both constructive feedback and recognition of top performers with additional compensation.
“As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures. Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world.”
Elon Musk, Tesla chief executive and founder, previously promised investors the firm hoped to ramp its production up to around 10,000 vehicles a week, with an aim to manufacture around 100,000 cars (including its other S and X vehicles) before the end of the year.
The company said earlier this month it was “confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term,” but has yet to announce any revised targets for its future production.
UK-based customers looking to purchase a Model 3 saloon can expect to receive their car within 12 to 18 months, a message on Tesla’s website reads. It has been touted as the company’s most affordable electric vehicle, priced from $35,000 (£26,000) and averaging 220 miles on a single battery charge.
Tesla announced it was recalling 11,000 Model X cars due to a faulty locking mechanism in their rear seats it feared raises the risk of the seats falling forward in a crash last week.
A small number of cables in the second row fold-flat seats in some Model X vehicles, manufactured between October 28, 2016 and August 16, 2017, may need to be adjusted to amend the issue, it said, despite not receiving any reports of accidents or problems relating to the oversight.