Tesla Death Watch 33: Hethel 1/5-i-mated

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Tesla’s heading down the home stretch here on Ye Olde Death Watch. Autocar reports that the Silicon Valley-based EV-maker says its cutting one fifth of its UK workforce. The number of Tesla employees laboring at Lotus’ Hethel factory, where the Tesla Roadster is born, has slipped from 50 to 40, or less. ““We deeply regret the necessity of making redundancies at the Tesla Hethel facility,” said Don Cochrane, UK sales and marketing director at Tesla Motors, who’s still cashing a nice fat paycheck (as far as we know). “It is in the interests of the longer-term health of the company to act prudently now.” Or, perhaps, before. Never mind. Facts never had much currency in Tesla-land, for either the company’s principals or the sycophantic scribes who parroted their PR. For example… “Since the £90,000 Roadster was launched, 125 examples of the groundbreaking electric sports car have been ordered across Europe. All of these are assembled at the Hethel factory at a rate of 40 vehicles per month. Tesla insists this production rate won’t be affected by the staff cutbacks.” Forty a month? Geddowdahere!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Merz Merz on Nov 02, 2008

    Tesla ARE delivering cars, 40+ now and at an increasing rate, for pocket change development costs. Also, contrary to whats reported on this site, the majority of customers are knocked out by how good it is. In the last 4 years they have been the only breath of fresh air in an industry stagnating in complacent greed. Over ambitious? And what?

  • Reality_bites Reality_bites on Nov 02, 2008

    Tesla has delivered nearly 50 cars now to all of the original founders and the Governator himself. So far, no major failures, then again it's just a giant remote control car so what's the big deal. People make this EV thing out to be so revolutionary. The truth is Tesla licensed the entire thing from AC propulsion and just tried to mass produce it; this is where the challenge is. Making a one off is simple, making thousands repeatable at a profit is hard! hence the big 3 is nearly dead. I would be surprise if Tesla makes it 4 more months. With $9M in the bank they don't have enough cash flow to deliver the orders they have taken, especially now that it was revealed in valley wag that they have used customer deposits for operations. Elon claims he can back the deposits, but was that before he decided to cheat on his wife and having her file for divorce and take half of his remaining millions? The future looks like it's on low charge given the initial potential.

  • Karkidd Karkidd on Nov 02, 2008

    I'm surprised that another car company hasn't offered to help Tesla though. I mean they could keep Tesla as a separate division and just help to ramp up production, advertising, etc.

  • Solarevolution Solarevolution on Nov 03, 2008

    Unfortunately the Tesla is still a car. Four wheels. One fallible driver. So, with or without green paint, it is no better than what's produced by all the other manufacturers delivering tools that send over a million people to the grim reaper every year around the world. Including four of my close relatives over the years. In fact, it's worse: it's hotter and faster. More dangerous. The automobile would never meet environmental criteria if it were introduced fresh into today's regulatory climate. We can do better in the 21st century. Automobile 2.0 will be automated.