Tesla cutting jobs in China amid poor sales figures

9 Mar 2015

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Tesla has revealed it is to cut jobs in China as the electric car manufacturer struggles to gain a foothold in the country.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to the news to The Wall Street Journal, but would not specify how many jobs were being lost.

“We’re not just leaving. We’re trying to serve the market,” said Tesla's Gary Tao. “Some people will go.”

Tesla has been struggling to find buyers for its cars not just in China, but other markets, too. An earnings report released last month showed that despite building 12,000 cars during the fourth quarter of last year, the company only sold 9,834 vehicles.

The Chinese market was an obvious example. Only 120 cars were sold there in January, which is considerably lower than the 500-per-month average that is expected in a major market.

Tesla issued a statement clarifying that these lower sales figures did not represent the true figure, as a number of orders had been pushed out for the first quarter of 2015. The firm also claimed it had achieved its production target of 35,000 cars for 2015.

The China cut backs follow a near doubling of Tesla’s global staff last year, with the company shooting to 10,161 employees from 5,859 a year earlier.

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com