Confirmed: Tesla Fires Number of Employees as Part of Performance Review

A statement from the Silicon Valley automaker tells why.

A recent Reuters report broke from within Tesla, revealing that a slew of employees had been fired from the California automaker in the last week. The anonymous source didn’t indicate exactly why there had been such a wave of firings across the company, but after reaching out to Tesla, The Drive has gotten a response that confirms the news and explains the situation from the company’s standpoint.

The shift apparently affected employees at every level from production workers to management, according to the Reuters anonymous source. No number was confirmed by Tesla, but the manufacturer did add that it was part of a company-wide performance assessment. According to the EV automaker, most of these changes were made to non-manufacturing roles. A Tesla spokesperson told The Drive:

“Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review during which a manager and employee discuss the results that were achieved, as well as how those results were achieved, during the performance period,” explained a brand spokesperson. “This includes both constructive feedback and recognition of top performers with additional compensation and equity awards, as well as promotions in many cases. As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures. Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world.”


While not mentioned specifically in the above quote, the manufacturer has been experiencing “production hell” according to Elon Musk in preparation for the high-volume Model 3, and has worked to overcome a “manufacturing bottleneck” as of late. The decision to part ways with these employees last week was part of an annual performance evaluation per Tesla who did not indicate any other reason for the firings.

Tesla began production of the Model 3 sedan in July and built 260 of them in the third quarter. It was projected that there would have already been 1,500 examples manufactured by the Palo Alto, California marque, but seeing as there was only 17% of that figure produced in reality, Tesla must begin thinking big in order to satisfy its long list of customers with deposits for the affordable electric.