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posted by martyb on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:40AM   Printer-friendly
from the where-there's-firing-there's-smoke? dept.

Tesla has fired several hundred of its employees following performance evaluations. Tesla recently conducted the biggest expansion of its workforce in the company's history, and is struggling to increase production of its Model 3 sedan:

Tesla Inc. has fired an undetermined number of employees following a series of performance evaluations after the company significantly boosted its workforce with the purchase of solar panel maker SolarCity Corp.

The departures are part of an annual review, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in an email, without providing a number of people affected. The maker of the Model S this week dismissed between 400 and 700 employees, including engineers, managers and factory workers, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Oct. 13, citing unidentified current and former workers.

"As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures," the company said in the statement. "Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world."

The company has more than 2,000 job openings on its careers website.

The dismissals come after Tesla said it built just 260 Model 3 sedans during the third quarter, less than a fifth of its 1,500-unit forecast. The company has offered scant detail about the problems it's having producing the car. The vehicle's entry price starts at $35,000, roughly half the cost of Tesla's least-expensive Model S sedan.

Also at NYT, Reuters, and The Mercury News.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by n1 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:25AM (7 children)

    by n1 (993) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:25AM (#582498) Journal

    To demonstrate the point about the line not being ready, as reported by one of the biggest fans of Tesla... []

    In the meantime, employees and company insiders are the ones taking delivery of early production vehicles. Those vehicles are subject to components changes as Tesla tunes its manufacturing processes for Model 3 and add more production parts.

    Sources familiar with those changes confirmed to Electrek that they had to make over a half dozen of them. In most cases, the vehicles are still performing normally, but Tesla wants to replace a now “prototype” part with a production one or it has improved on a production part through the deployment of the Model 3 manufacturing lines.

    For example, Tesla has already replaced the Model 3 front and passenger seats as well as the battery packs from the vehicles made in July.

    More recently, Tesla changed the Model 3’s headlight and tail lights for vehicles made in August. The headlights were replaced with an “upgraded version”, while the first version of the tail lights were susceptible to condensation – something that was visible in some Model 3 production candidates spotted in the wild earlier this year.

    Tesla also had to replace several other smaller components, but as we reported last week, Tesla attempted a Model 3 production ramp up in September and the changes have slowed down since.

    They did manage to ship a record number of Model X in Q3 to make up for the lack of Model 3, but they've been recalled because of the new 'folding' rear seat.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:40AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:40AM (#582506)

    Well, from the linked Jobs page, they are currently hiring "Agile Scrum Master []", so that explains that. Break Early, Break Often

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:48AM (4 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:48AM (#582511) Journal

    Makes me wonder how smart Tesla and Musk really are. I mean, condensation problem in the headlights, really? That's a very old problem. I had a 1988 Ford Escort susceptible to that. (That car was nothing but trouble, thanks to American manufacturers' shabby attitude towards little cars. Built them way too cheap. In those days, had to get Japanese to get a decent quality little car.) Fixed it myself by adding more air and drain holes.

    Doesn't Tesla have any old car guys who have the long memories of automobile defects back to the 1960s, so they can avoid the mistakes made 30 years ago?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by n1 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:54AM (1 child)

      by n1 (993) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:54AM (#582512) Journal

      They manufacture cars, and as i'm often reminded 'the fastest production car in the world' (0-60, once or twice for 1/4 of a mile)

      But with these complex 'computers on wheels' they decided to skip the beta phase this time and just go to 'early production'

      Elon Musk made a surprising announcement. He said the analytic tools Tesla has developed will allow the company to skip the beta phase entirely for the Model 3.

      Because after all, it's just a computer on wheels and the software can be updated later because no one else does 'over the air updates' on cars... it's all super secure too, because the cars can only connect to Tesla servers... Apparently later versions of the Model 3 wont require a key or other entry system either, because you can just use your phone. []

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:08AM (#582574)


    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @04:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @04:25AM (#582520)

      > Doesn't Tesla have any old car guys...

      Not too many old car guys/gals are willing to put up with the working conditions (frenetic pace) at Tesla. I know a few that tried it and quit pretty quickly. Some of the best engineers were moved to CA by Tesla, and then jumped ship to one of the other new electric car companies in the SF area.

      Before Model S came out Tesla set up a Detroit Engineering Office, here's a 2007 story on the closing of that office, []
      Then in 2008, they decided to keep a skeleton crew in the Detroit area (but not engineering),

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by crafoo on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:36PM

      by crafoo (6639) on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:36PM (#582613)

      A lot of thought and engineering go into keeping a automotive light clear of condensation. It's even harder with LED lights. You might think it's an easy problem, Tesla engineers probably did too. Like so many other things it's much more difficult to actually _do_ it than to claim it's easy and you can do it. I imagine there are thousands of such detail engineering problems on Tesla vehicles. It's fine. This is what is required to start building a new car.

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:12PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:12PM (#582620)

    So, he's running his car company like a web-app producer on regular release cycles.

    🌻🌻 []