Tesla’s workforce cuts reach China, production-related jobs unaffected: report

Credit: Tesla Inc.

Tesla’s headcount optimization has reportedly reached China, with local reports stating that the company had begun its efforts to lay off some of its workforce in the country. The initiative does not involve positions related to the production of the company’s all-electric cars, however. 

During his virtual appearance at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, Elon Musk noted that Tesla’s planned workforce cut would only be affecting salaried employees. Since salaried workers only comprise about 1/3 of Tesla’s workforce, his 10% estimate should result in the company’s total headcount dropping just about 3 to 3.5%.  

“Tesla is reducing the salaried workforce roughly 10% over the next probably three months or so… We’re about two-thirds hourly and one-third salary. So I guess technically, a 10% reduction in the salaried workforce is only roughly a 3%, 3.5% reduction in total headcount,” Musk said. 

Citing people familiar with the matter, local Chinese news outlet Sina Tech noted that the workforce cuts in China are part of Tesla’s companywide headcount optimization efforts. The publication’s sources declined to provide more details about the matter, reportedly due to concerns about the impact of the separation process. 

“There have been layoffs in many functional departments other than manufacturing,” the publication’s sources noted.

Tesla’s headcount has grown significantly over the years as its vehicle deliveries ramped. Last year, Tesla reportedly hired 28,533 people worldwide, up 40.3% from 2020. A significant portion of these jobs was based mainly in Europe and China, two countries that are hosting Tesla’s Gigafactories. 

Interestingly enough, Tesla released recruitment information for over 100 positions in the company’s Shanghai R&D and Innovation Center last month. The positions were varied, as they included job openings for vehicle software, hardware design engineering, and power and energy engineering, to name a few.

Tesla China’s R&D Center is expected to design, develop, and produce new models and energy products that are tailored for the local market. Among these is a well-rumored compact electric car that’s expected to be offered at a price point below the Tesla Model 3. 

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Tesla’s workforce cuts reach China, production-related jobs unaffected: report
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