Tesla just fired hundreds of employees due to ‘performance’ issues

Tesla Model 3

That Tesla is seriously behind schedule when it comes to its vehicle production is no secret. Now, it would appear that Tesla’s workforce is really feeling the pressure of these delays. As originally reported by The Mercury News, the carmaker has fired “hundreds” of employees. Folks including associates, team leaders, and supervisors were affected by the decision.

According to an emailed statement from Tesla, the firings were part of an annual company-wide review.

“Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review during which a manager and employee discuss the results that were achieved, as well as how those results were achieved, during the performance period,” a Tesla spokesperson noted to TechCrunch. “This includes both constructive feedback and recognition of top performers with additional compensation and equity awards, as well as promotions in many cases. 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.”

While the company did not specify how many people were ultimately given the boot, a former employee told Reuters, “It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. We don’t know how high up it went.” The source also noted that despite Tesla’s claim that the dismissals were the result of job performance, he had never received a bad review.

We might speculate that part of the rationale behind the widespread discharges was the “production bottleneck” that resulted in Tesla being far behind its targets for Model 3 production. Just 260 of these cars were produced during the third quarter of 2017, which is problematic given that Elon Musk had projected being able to make 20,000 Model 3’s a month by this December. And while there’s a very long waiting list for the highly anticipated vehicle, just 220 were shipped in the last few months, which has made for some pretty antsy buyers.

In any case, Tesla still seems very bullish about its future, as do investors. The company is set to report earnings in the next few weeks, and its stock price has continued to climb in spite of its numerous production setbacks.