Tesla decimates staff amid ongoing performance woe

Shares of the worst performing member of the S&P 500 slide some more as news unlikely to please investors

Tesla is starting the week on a low note by laying off "more than" 10 percent of its employees just days after Cybertruck production was reportedly halted to address an issue with the accelerator pedal.

News of the layoffs came via an allegedly leaked internal email from CEO Elon Musk, who said the company planned to cut "more than 10 percent globally." At last report, Tesla had 140,473 employees, meaning the cuts could affect upwards of 14,000 people.

The Register asked Tesla to confirm the contents of the leaked email, but we haven't heard back.

Layoffs at Tesla follow a slower than expected calendar first quarter at the car maker, as outlined in a trading update earlier this month. Tesla said it delivered 8.5 percent fewer vehicles year-on-year, marking the company's first decline in deliveries since 2020.

In addition, Tesla's reduced deliveries of 386,810 vehicles marked a significant miss of analyst expectations, which broadly pegged Tesla to hand around 457,000 vehicles to customers in the first quarter of the year.

That's just one of Tesla's hiccups in the first four months of 2024.

Shares plummeted on news of the company's poor first quarter, which came only days after reports that Tesla had spent the first few months of 2024 as the worst performing company in the S&P 500 – a group that includes Boeing

A few days after the dismal Q1 report was released, news broke that Tesla was scrapping plans for a low-cost electric vehicle dubbed the Model 2, which caused stock prices to waver yet again.

As has happened before when Elon's chips are down, the biz magnate immediately took to his personal social media platform to make a share-boosting announcement, in this case claiming that Tesla was unveiling a robotaxi in August.

Musk previously claimed Tesla would have a million robotaxis on the road by 2020, which, we note, hasn't happened yet.

Cybertruck pedals get cyberstuck

In related news, production of Tesla's Cybertruck has reportedly been paused, with multiple buyers expecting imminent deliveries now claiming those have been put on hold.

Tesla didn't give a reason, only saying there was an "unexpected delay" that had to be addressed before Cybertrucks could be delivered. Twitter user Whole Mars Catalog claimed to know why Cybertruck deliveries were being delayed, alleging that Tesla had stopped all deliveries for a week to deal with an accelerator pedal issue.

Several owners offered clues as to what was happening, with one user posting to the Cybertruck Owners Club forum saying their vehicle accelerated uncontrollably before hitting a signal light pole. Another TikTok user said they had experienced a similar issue but came away unscathed, later posting a video showing that a cover on the accelerator had come loose and got stuck under a panel.

There are no reports on the NHTSA's page for the Cybertruck to indicate problems have been reported to the agency. We've asked Tesla about the issue, but haven't heard back about that either.

Today's drop in Tesla's share on news of the layoffs has erased all the gains made after Musk's robotaxi claims. ®

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