Job cuts: Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk (pictured), has been hit by subdued demand for electric vehicles

Job cuts: Tesla, led by billionaire Elon Musk (pictured), has been hit by subdued demand for electric vehicles

Tesla is axing more than 10 per cent of its global workforce as it grapples with falling sales.

The US car maker, which is led by billionaire Elon Musk, has been hit by subdued demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and a price war with Chinese rivals.

Musk told staff that the cull of more than a tenth of the workforce ‘must be done’ – setting the scene for the job cuts.

‘We have done a thorough review of the organisation and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10 per cent globally,’ he said. 

‘There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.’

Tesla has an estimated 140,000 employees, which means as many as 14,000 are set to lose their jobs – with hundreds of roles potentially being lost in the UK. 

Recent filings suggest that Tesla employs around 1,000 people in Britain. The layoffs come at a bumpy time for the group.

Earlier this month, it reported its first fall in car sales for four years after it delivered 386,810 vehicles in the three months to the end of March.

It was enough for it to reclaim its crown as the world’s top seller of electric cars following a slump in sales at Chinese rival BYD.

But the total was down by more than fifth from the previous quarter and around 9 per cent less than in the same period of 2023.

BYD overtook Tesla in the final quarter of 2023 when it sold 526,409 electric vehicles compared to Tesla’s 484,507.

After years of rapid sales growth that helped turn Tesla into the world’s most valuable car maker, the company is bracing for a slowdown in 2024. 

In January, Musk warned that Chinese car makers were set to ‘demolish’ global rivals and growth this year would be ‘notably lower’ than in 2023.

The company recently cited ‘shipping diversions caused by the Red Sea conflict’ and an arson attack at its Berlin factory for its slowing production rates.

Tesla, which will report its quarterly earnings next Tuesday, previously laid off 4pc of its workforce in New York last year.

  • BP has cut over a tenth of the workforce in its electric vehicle charging business and pulled it out of several markets. The changes at BP Pulse are part of chief executive Murray Auchincloss’s efforts to focus on the most profitable segments as it battles investor doubts over its plan to shift away from oil and gas to low-carbon energy.

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