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Tesla cuts more than 10% of global workforce as challenges mount

Sabri Ben-Achour Apr 15, 2024
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Tesla’s deliveries dropped by 8.5% in the first quarter, making it the first decline in four years. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Tesla cuts more than 10% of global workforce as challenges mount

Sabri Ben-Achour Apr 15, 2024
Heard on:
Tesla’s deliveries dropped by 8.5% in the first quarter, making it the first decline in four years. Brandon Bell/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Tesla is cutting more than 10% of its global workforce, the company announced Monday in an internal email. Tesla stock is down 34% so far this year as the electric vehicle maker is facing softening demand and intense competition. Last year, Tesla had to resort to steep price cuts to stimulate sales, but it hasn’t quite worked. 

“These are some dark days for Tesla,” said Dan Ives, managing director at Wedbush Securities. Growth has slowed, globally, for Tesla. Its deliveries declined 8.5% in the first quarter, the first decline in four years.

“This has gone from a Cinderella ride to a bit of a horror show in the near term,” said Ives.

There are a few things behind it: “Too many electric cars and not enough buyers,” said Mike Ramsey, a vice president analyst at Gartner. Electric vehicle sales are still growing in the United States, but they’re slowing down.

“The availability of public charging in the U.S. is still not really what it needs to be to give most people confidence to switch over to EVs,” Ramsey said.

People are buying more hybrids. Sales increased 50% early this year. Interest rates are high. And EVs are still more expensive than regular cars in the U.S. And Tesla has a price problem globally, said Seth Goldstein, an equity strategist at Morningstar Research Services.

“Tesla does not sell any affordable vehicles,” Goldstein said.

Competitors in China do. Lots of them.

“Competitors who do are still seeing faster growth rates largely in the affordable vehicle market, whereas Tesla is somewhat limited to the luxury market, which is growing slower because it’s more saturated,” he said.

Tesla can still salvage the budget electric vehicle niche in the U.S. and Europe, Goldstein said.

“There is still generally a lack of a lot of affordable vehicle options that also have the adequate range, so I think they’re not late in those markets,” he said.

But Tesla’s competitors in China are eyeing those markets too.

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