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Bumpy Road Ahead For Tesla

Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity

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Visitors inspect Tesla electric cars at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

Electric car and solar panel maker Tesla said Friday it plans to cut its staff by about 7 percent.

“The road ahead is very difficult,” the company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk said in an email to employees posted on the company’s website.

He said Tesla Inc. hopes to post a “tiny profit” in the current quarter but that after expanding its workforce by 30 percent last year, it cannot support that size of staff.

Musk said in a tweet in October that Tesla had 45,000 employees. A 7 percent cut would involve laying off about 3,150 people.

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Tesla to lay-off 7% full-time staff amid China dreams. Pixabay

Tesla’s shares tumbled earlier this month after it cut vehicle prices by $2,000 and announced fourth-quarter sales figures that fell short of Wall Street estimates.

“Our products are too expensive for most people,” Musk said in the memo to Tesla staff saying the company has to “work harder.”

“Tesla has only been producing cars for about a decade and we’re up against massive, entrenched competitors,” he said.

The company says it delivered over 245,000 electric cars and SUVs last year, nearly as many as all previous years combined. But its 2018 production fell far short of a goal set nearly three years ago of manufacturing 500,000 vehicles for the year. That goal was announced in May of 2016 based on advance orders for its mid-range Model 3, which sells for $44,000.

Also Read: Elon Musk Quotes $1 bn to Build Tunnel Under Australian Mountain Range

Musk said Tesla plans to ramp up production of the Model 3, “as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles.”

“Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity,” he said in the memo, “but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.” (VOA)

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Tesla Slams Critic with Restraining Order

The car-maker also claimed that, in February, Hothi struck one of its employees while trespassing and surveilling the company’s Fremont factory and “fled the scene”

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A Telsa car recharges at a Tesla charging station in Charlotte, N.C.. VOA

Electric vehicle (EV)-maker Tesla has slammed Randeep Hothi — one of the short-sellers of the company and also its prominent Twitter critic — with a restraining order on charges of stalking, harassing and endangering company employees.

In its complaint, Tesla claimed that three of its employees who were driving a ‘Model 3’ car on a Bay Area highway last week were pursued by the California resident for about 35 minutes where he drove ahead of, beside and behind the car, swerving dangerously close to the vehicle, The Verge reported on Saturday.

The company also claimed that Hothi even swerved so close to the car that its crash avoidance safety feature was triggered.

While Hothi, under the username @skabooshka, published images of the ‘Model 3’ car on Twitter earlier on April 18, confirming his presence at the scene.

He claimed he saw the car violate speed limits, and noted it performed simple tasks like lane changes, implying Tesla might misrepresent the footage later.

Now in compliance with the restraining order, Hothi is required to stay at least 100 yards away from Tesla’s Fremont factory in California as well as its employees.

Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

In addition, he also has to stay 10 yards away from any Tesla vehicle with manufacturer plates within five miles of the factory.

The restraining order is effective until May 7, when a hearing is scheduled.

Tesla also took the opportunity to note that Hothi “has a history of trespassing at Tesla’s facilities”. The company said one time Hothi “unlawfully” took photos and videos of Tesla facilities and uploaded them on Twitter.

Also Read- AI, Social Media Regulation Find Prominence in Poll Manifestos

The car-maker also claimed that, in February, Hothi struck one of its employees while trespassing and surveilling the company’s Fremont factory and “fled the scene”, the report added.

Later on Saturday, Hothi took to Twitter and wrote to his 6,800 followers – “I will not rest. This is my promise. Tesla is a zero. @elonmusk will go to prison.” (IANS)