How Tesla’s global layoffs are impacting Australia

More Tesla staff have reportedly been fired as the electric vehicle (EV) giant continues to cut its global workforce – with the effects already being felt in Australia.

Last week, Rebecca Tinucci, the head of Tesla’s Supercharger division, was fired along with the entire department of approximately 500 staff members, allegedly after the executive pushed back against a headcount reduction.

Tesla’s head of new vehicle development Daniel Ho was also reportedly sacked, though it wasn’t known whether his team was affected by the layoffs as well.

The rapid cuts have reportedly continued, as Electrek reports Tesla’s layoffs have entered a third week.

Sources told the publication that Tesla employees from various departments including its software, service, and engineering divisions have been terminated within the past few days.

It’s unclear as to how many people have been impacted by the latest round of layoffs, though Electrek understands close to 20 per cent of Tesla’s workforce could be out of a job by the time the cuts end.

It’s understood the brand’s Australian operations have also been impacted by these global headcount reductions.

Australian technology publication EFTM reports the rollout of more Tesla Superchargers locally has been paused indefinitely.

EFTM cites an email between a Victorian business, which was due to have a four-bay Supercharger facility installed in its carpark, and its legal representative.

The legal representative was allegedly told by a Tesla staff member that works on the proposed Supercharger station won’t continue.

“I have just received a voicemail from (name redacted) at Tesla advising that the Tesla Supercharger team has been dissolved globally and there will be no more supercharger sites moving forward,” the email reportedly reads. 

“I’ve just spoken to (Tesla staff member) and he has expressed his disappointment and was certainly caught by surprise – as were the rest of the Tesla Supercharging teams. He also said he expects his email to be deactivated within the next 24 hours.”

Tesla’s Supercharger network – often regarded as one of the best in the industry – was originally reserved only for its own vehicles, though it recently started to open up the stations to other brands of vehicles.

As of August 2023, 30 of the 63 Supercharger stations in Australia could be used to charge non-Tesla EVs. It’s not yet known whether the paused charger rollout will result in a stop to this access expansion.

Last month, Tesla announced its operating margins sat at 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 – down from 11.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 – while its deliveries of new vehicles had fallen to its lowest levels in 2022 throughout the opening three months of the year.

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