Saturday 17 November 2018

Tesla plans to cut 9pc of workforce, says Musk

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Laharee Chatterjee and Vibhuti Sharma

Elon Musk's electric car maker Tesla is cutting about 9pc of its workforce, Mr Musk said yesterday, as it seeks to reduce costs without endangering the critical ramp up of production of its Model 3 sedan.

Tweeting pictures of an email he said had been leaked to media, Mr Musk said that the cuts were part of a simplification of Tesla's management structure promised last month.

"As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9pc of our colleagues across the company," the email read.

"These cuts were entirely from our salaried population and no production associates were included, so this will not affect our ability to reach Model 3 production targets in the coming months."

Tesla's latest annual filing last December showed it had 37,543 full-time employees.

Up nearly 7pc earlier on Tuesday, shares of the company trimmed gains to stand 3.5pc higher at $344 by early afternoon.

Yesterday Mr Musk said Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system will get full self-driving features following a software upgrade in August.

Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle's safe operation. But a spate of recent crashes has brought the system under regulatory scrutiny.

"To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features," Mr Musk said.

He said an autopilot issue during lane-merging is better in the current software and will be fully fixed in the August update.

However, it was not clear what self-driving features would be included in the August update.

Tesla has been gradually upgrading its Autopilot features with regular software updates.

General Motors said last week that its driver assistance feature, Super Cruise, will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for extended periods, but will stop the vehicle automatically if drivers are not attentive.

GM had said it will expand the roll-out of Super Cruise to all its Cadillac models beginning 2020. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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