Tesla Motors Is Cutting Jobs in China Due to Low Sales

Tesla Motors might be facing a crisis on the Chinese market after the luxury EV carmaker is said to be cutting jobs in China following a bad year that proved to be a punch in the stomach for Tesla’s sales target in 2014.
Tesla Model S 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Motors
Tesla’s Chinese adventure has taken a hit as reports say that Elon Musk’s company will let go to around one third of its 600 employees in China. The main reason behind this decision is that Tesla CEO Elon Musk wanted to sell 5,000 cars in China, but the company only managed to attract less than 2,500 customers since April 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Things are not looking rosy at all since China struggles to meet its ambitions and reduce dependency on imported oil by promoting EVs. According to Chinese officials, there should be at least half a million of green cars on the road by the end of 2015.

However, this is looking harder to touch than Jupiter at the moment since last year saw 20 million passenger vehicles being sold in China, but only 50,000 of them were EVs or hybrids. Surprisingly or not, one of Tesla’s main problems in China was the introduction of charging stations. This was particularly blamed by Elon Musk, but there are other factors adding up to the equation.

For example, Tesla China President Veronica Wu left the company last December, after less than nine months in the number one manager seat. Some voices are also blaming Tesla’s prices in China, that start roughly around $110,000 and can go as high as $173,000 for a fully kitted Tesla Model S.

Despite the difficulties, Tesla Motors is not looking to extract itself from the Chinese market. In 2014, Tesla almost doubled its staff to more than 10,000 employees and it looks like the company won’t go out without a fight:

We’re not just leaving. We’re trying to serve the market. Some people will go,” said Tesla spokesperson Gary Tao.
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