Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees in the Midst of Model 3 "Production Hell"

Try to make sense of this one: on the one hand, Tesla is falling short of its targets with only 220 of the proposed 1,500 Model 3 electric sedans delivered this past quarter (Q3), and on the other, it is giving the boot to hundreds of its employees.
Tesla Freemont factory 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Inc.
And things are only going to get tougher for the Palo Alto company as its production quotas for the remaining months of 2017 will grow exponentially, reaching 5,000 units a week by the end of the year. We're no experts, but if you can't reach a target with a larger number of workers, you're not likely to do it with fewer of them.

The EV maker has not released an official figure for the number of people dismissed, but they are reportedly in the hundreds. For a company with a 33,000-strong workforce, that doesn't necessarily represent a very large percentage, but it's the timing that surprised everyone.

But it's not just Freemont factory workers that got axed - managers, administrative staff, salespersons or engineers are also going to look for a new job soon. Tesla confirmed the news and explained the move as a result of a periodic performance review that included all of its employees.

The company has been accused of mistreating its employees in the past, and recent reports (denied by CEO Elon Musk) suggested it even required workers to assemble some parts of the Model 3 by hand for an undetermined duration due to some issues with the automated assembly line.

Even so, given the special aura surrounding Tesla these days, we'd be surprised if the company had any trouble finding the workforce it requires to fill the spots left vacant by these dismissals. And with Elon Musk posting videos of the Model 3 assembly line at work, the disruption to the production flow caused by the departure of a few workers is likely to be minimal.

It's also worth pointing out what Mercury News reports about some of the workers fired believing they had been singled out for their open views on unionization, something the company has always opposed.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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