Tesla to cut 9% of workforce, Model 3 production not affected by layoffs

Elon Musk said the company would continue to hire for critical roles and that finding additional production staff remained a priority. Above, a Model 3 sits on the showroom floor at a Tesla dealership in Chicago. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 14 June 2018
0

Tesla to cut 9% of workforce, Model 3 production not affected by layoffs

  • The cuts concern salaried staff but not production workers and will not affect Model 3 output targets
  • Founded in 2003 by a group of engineers drawn to electric cars, Tesla went public in 2010 and began delivering the Model S sedan in 2012

NEW YORK: Electric carmaker Tesla Motors announced Tuesday it was cutting nine percent of its workforce to enhance profitability but said the move would not affect an ambitious production ramp-up of its Model 3 sedan.
The job cuts are part of a company-wide restructuring to address excess staff in some areas due to the company’s speedy growth, Tesla chief Elon Musk said in an email to employees.
The cuts concern salaried staff but not production workers and will not affect Model 3 output targets, said Musk, who characterized the downsizing as an acknowledgement of the need to focus more on costs.
“Given that Tesla has never made an annual profit in the almost 15 years since we have existed, profit is obviously not what motivates us,” Musk said in the message.
“What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable,” Musk added.
“That is a valid and fair criticism of Tesla’s history to date.”
The layoff affects almost 4,000 workers, based on figures supplies by the company. Musk said last month that the company would conduct a “sort of reorganization” but did not discuss specifics.
Musk said Tuesday the company would continue to hire for critical roles and that finding additional production staff remained a priority.
Musk said on Twitter that the decision to cut jobs was “difficult but necessary.”
The Tesla chief has at times clashed with Wall Street analysts over an aggressive cash burn rate that has fed skepticism over whether the company can reach its goals after the company earlier missed several key benchmarks for the Model 3.
Just six weeks ago, Musk was in the doghouse with many Wall Street analysts after he abruptly cut off an earnings conference call because of “dry” and “bonehead” questions that dug into capital spending details.
But others on Wall Street and beyond view the charismatic Tesla chief as a visionary, sometimes comparing him to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and others who have also disrupted industries.
The company’s stock is up about 15 percent since June 5, when Musk signaled that the company would likely meet a goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans by the end of June.
Shares had also risen Monday after Musk said on Twitter the company’s updated Autopilot software coming in August would enable “full self-driving features.”
Shares of Tesla rose 3.3 percent in afternoon trading to $343.00
Founded in 2003 by a group of engineers drawn to electric cars, Tesla went public in 2010 and began delivering the Model S sedan in 2012.
However, the company’s first two major vehicles both sell for around $75,000 or more, whereas the Model 3 starts at $35,000 and had been billed as the first electric car aimed at the middle market.
Since that time, General Motors has also launched a model for this market, the Chevrolet Bolt.
GM chief Mary Barra announced Tuesday that the company planned to boost production of the Bolt to meet demand and reiterated plans to launch more than 20 new electric vehicles worldwide by 2023.


India antitrust watchdog issues advisories to DP World, Maersk units operating at Mumbai port

Updated 46 min 1 sec ago
0

India antitrust watchdog issues advisories to DP World, Maersk units operating at Mumbai port

  • The Competition Commission of India last year ordered a probe into suspected antitrust violations by DP World and Maersk units
  • The antitrust dispute at the JNPT is based on so-called inter-terminal transfers

NEW DELHI: India’s antitrust watchdog has ordered Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk and Dubai’s DP World to withdraw certain customer advisories which it said could hamper growth of the country’s largest container port in Mumbai, a document seen by Reuters showed.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last year ordered a probe into suspected antitrust violations by DP World and Maersk units at the terminals they operate at state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
Handling 66 million tons of cargo in the last fiscal year to March, JNPT is critical to India’s international trade. The port handles more than half of India’s traffic in shipping containers each year.
The probe was ordered as the CCI found merit in a complaint filed by Singapore’s PSA International, which alleged the rival duo had created barriers to hinder the growth of PSA’s terminal by colluding on certain charges they levy at the port.
Though the terminal operators handle each other’s containers to help boost the port’s efficiency, PSA had alleged that DP World and Maersk last year issued advisories aimed at discouraging port users from sending PSA’s containers to their terminals.
In an order issued by the CCI on Jan. 15, the watchdog ordered Maersk and DP World units to withdraw those advisories, saying it “smacks of anti-competitive” conduct.
The advisories, if not withdrawn, would cause “irretrievable damage or losses” not only to PSA, and would not augur well for the port’s development, according to the order. It has not been made public.
“This is likely to generate unwarranted uncertainty, chaos, discontent and anxiety among shipping lines and customers,” the CCI said.
The order is only an interim measure, and the wider probe continues.
A DP World spokesperson said the company had not received any such order from the Indian watchdog, but it was “committed to ensuring” it complies with all laws.
A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s biggest container shipping group, did not respond to queries. PSA, which is owned by Singapore government-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings, declined to comment.
The antitrust dispute at the JNPT is based on so-called inter-terminal transfers.
Under the system, freight trains arriving at JNPT typically carry containers destined for several terminals, but stop at just one that handles all the cargo on a given day. Other operators then collect their containers by truck for loading at their own terminals. A similar procedure is followed, in reverse, when imported containers are unloaded.
DP World’s advisory had said the inter-terminal operations with PSA were “inefficient and unviable.” Maersk had said its terminal “shall not be responsible” for handling containers to and from PSA-terminal bound trains.
Both the companies denied PSA’s allegations while arguing to the CCI that the advisories were based on “commercial justifications,” the order said.
Units of Maersk, DP World and PSA operate four of the JNPT port’s five terminals, with the fifth owned by the government. The PSA terminal, inaugurated in February, is planned to be the largest, expected to nearly double JNPT’s capacity.