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Tesla's delivery group was eventually hit hard by the latest positions



SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When Tesla announced last month a new round of job cuts to clear costs, a decisive department was hit particularly badly. Car manufacturers more than halved the division that delivers their electric vehicles to North American customers, said two of the delimited workers.

About 150 employees out of a team of about 230 were released in January at the Las Vegas facility, which gets tens of thousands of Model 3s in the hands of US and Canadian buyers, they said in a sign company expected the delivery rate to significantly slow down term.

The cuts, which have not been reported previously, could burn investor concerns that the demand for model 3 in the US has tailed off after a major tax break for consumers expired last year, and the car remains too expensive for most consumers.

Tesla has said its focus in the quarter on delivering cars to customers waiting in China and Europe.

"There are not enough supplies," one of the former employees told Reuters. "You don't need a team because there aren't so many cars coming through."

Delivery of Model 3 was the company's key priority in the latter half of 201

8, when Tesla attempted to supply all buyers who wanted the full benefit of $ 7,500 US tax credit before being cut in half at the turn of the year.

Model 3 is crucial for Tesla's long-term profitability plans. The company aims to make a profit every quarter this year, based on the expectation that it will sell more model 3 figures and continue to reduce costs.

Tesla refused to comment on the job reductions in the delivery team. The company still has an excluded number of delivery personnel associated with elsewhere.

Matthew DeBord / BI

"Everything on the planet"

Even before mating the delivery team, investors asked the level of demand for model 3 again after Tesla's widespread pressure to deliver buyers ahead of tax credit cuts.

"Given the need for revenue to cover costs and generate money, the financial community should be focused on the level of demand for Tesla vehicles – especially Model 3," wrote Barclays analyst Brian Johnson in January.

The two former supply workers said that the 2018 sales have left Tesla's reservation list picked by North American buyers willing to pay current prices of over $ 40,000 to get their hands on a model 3.

CEO Elon Musk basically said in 2016, the car will start at $ 35,000 – which triggered a rush of reservations – but Tesla has yet to sell any cars at that price, despite two additional charges this year.

"We sold through just about every car we had on the ground, and we almost called every creature on the planet that had ever expressed a desire to own a Tesla to tell them that the tax credit had expired," the other ex- employee.

Tesla workers around the company were redistributed to pitch in, said the source.

"They said," Your job is out of the table now, we have to get these cars delivered. Because if we do not get these cars delivered, you do not have a job tomorrow, "said the former employee.

AP

Half a million buyers

At the model 3 launch in July 2017, Musk said over half Million buyers had deposited deposits on the new car, which helped send Tesla shares up nearly 15 percent over the next six weeks

The company delivered 145 610 Model 3s in 2018, but all at prices well over $ 35,000 Musk said last week a $ 35,000 version that could be sold profitably was maybe six months away, even with two price reductions this year, the lowest price tag on a model 3 is now $ 42,900.

Musk claims the demand for model 3 is "insane high, but his company has not released any numbers to demonstrate it.

Asked about the reservation list last week by analysts, outgoing CFO Deepak Ahuja failed to disclose how many remained and called it "not relevant." 19659002] Musk has said that Tesla has several ways to demand, if it chose to, for example, to offer leases or increase marketing efforts.

Model 3s now rolling out of Teslas Fremont, California, factory going to Chinese and European buyers, Tesla says.

The two laid-back employees said North America's delivery targets – consisting of mostly US buyers – this quarter would be 55 percent to 60 percent of what they were in the last quarter of 2018.

If Tesla didn't cut prices soon, There is a risk of losing potential customers – and those already on the reservation list – to a number of German and Asian competitors whose electric vehicles will hit the US market this year. Each of the new entrant's first 200,000 buyers will be eligible for a fully federal subsidy.

Having met this number, the US tax credit falls to Tesla buyers in half to $ 3,750 in the first half of 2019, and then falls half again in other six months.

Last month, Musk said his "rough guess" was that Tesla would start building $ 35,000 model 3 in mid-2019.

One of the sources said it could charge US claims: "If it was a model 3 For $ 35,000 that was still a very good car, then blowing the competition, I could see the demand go through the roof. "

Reporting Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Bill Rigby


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