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Electric-car maker Tesla fires hundreds over performance issue

IANS | San Francisco |

Electric-car maker Tesla has fired hundreds of workers, including engineers, managers and factory workers, after a series of performance reviews over the week.

According to The Mercury News, Tesla said it regularly conducts annual performance reviews that often result in promotions or bonuses as well as dismissals.

“As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures. Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world,” the American firm was quoted as saying.

Although Tesla confirmed the dismissals, it did not reveal the exact number.

The sacking came at a time when the automaker is trying to increase the production of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.

The report pointed out the firings could indicate that personnel problems have contributed to the early troubles in manufacturing the Model 3.

With a sticker price starting about $35,000, the new car is designed to compete with several gasoline-powered sedans as well as electric vehicles produced by automakers such as General Motors and Nissan.

Tesla built about 25,000 vehicles in the three months that ended September 30 but only 260 of those were Model 3s — considerably fewer than the 1,500 it had projected.

The automaker has attributed the low production rate of the new car to unexpected bottlenecks in its manufacturing system.

Meanwhile, a Tesla representative said the dismissals would not have an effect on Model 3 production and that a “vast majority” of the vacant positions would be filled with new hires.

The overall attrition rate of employees will be about the same as last year, the company was quoted as saying.