Musk Picks Up the Axe Again, Cuts Sales Staff in Major U.S. Markets

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
musk picks up the axe again cuts sales staff in major u s markets

The torturous wait to learn if Tesla’s job cuts would come to their doorstep ended in April for dozens of members of the automaker’s sales team. As it embarks on a cost-saving plan, Tesla has let go numerous staff members and sought to close the bulk of its storefronts after moving the company’s buying process online. Last quarter’s grim deliveries report didn’t paint a rosy picture for the company, suggesting more cost-cutting to come.

According to Bloomberg, the axe fell in three U.S. cities last week.

The cuts came in Chicago, Brooklyn, and Tampa on Thursday, anonymous sources claim, with the pink-slipped staff made up of “inside sales” teams whose job was to reach out to potential customers and stimulate sales by offering test drives. Their role evolved after Tesla’s February sales model switcheroo, however. In the wake of the changes, these team members found themselves tasked with cleaning and delivering vehicles, as well as fielding inbound calls.

A now former employee told Bloomberg that the Tampa team (20 sales advisors, 2 managers) was terminated via conference call, effective immediately. A Brooklyn-based former employee recounted the same story.

While Tesla’s operations at these three locations will not cease, they won’t be as populous as before. The automaker still has customer service reps on the payroll. The sources claimed that inside sales teams remain in Tesla’s home base of Fremont, California, and Las Vegas.

Earlier this year, on the heels of a second consecutive profitable quarter (a first for the company), CEO Elon Musk stated his confidence in profitability going forward, with only the first quarter of 2019 in doubt. Almost immediately, the automaker began cutting its workforce while embarking on a campaign of seemingly endless price alterations. Many storefronts resisted closure due to lease terms.

Last month, Musk changed his prediction for Q1 2019 to a loss — an outlook backed up by last quarter’s reduced production numbers and a delivery drop of 31 percent compared to the previous quarter. Deliveries of pricey Model S and X vehicles sank to the lowest point in years.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Incautious Incautious on Apr 10, 2019

    soon there will only be the pot smoking CEO

  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Apr 10, 2019

    I think there is a sizable market for BEVs for sub $25k sedans and mid size CUVs if the price is under $30k. Since the cost to build a BEV excluding the battery is lower than a comparable ICE vehicle due to lower parts count and assembly time, the battery pack is the sticking point. So when is the giga factory going to start cranking out lower cost battery packs?

    • HotPotato HotPotato on Apr 13, 2019

      The battery is the expensive part, so low cost = small battery = short range. I don't think Tesla will ever make a short-range EV. Their whole brand identity is as the EV that doesn't give you range anxiety. This is why they can't profitably meet their own $35k base price target, let alone $25k. Ironically I suspect the most effective way to get to those price targets without subsidies in the long term, is to have much bigger subsidies in the short term. You need economies of scale to bring the price down for buyers, but you can't get that volume without buyers in the first place. Chicken and egg. Norway shows that there is no mystery to creating demand.

  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.
  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
  • Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
  • Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.