Tesla boss Elon Musk expresses fear of a recession and therefore wants to cut thousands of jobs at the electric car manufacturer. In an internal email to executives on Thursday, available to the Reuters news agency, Musk writes that he has a “super bad feeling” about economic development.
The US electric car manufacturer must therefore reduce its workforce by around ten percent. The e-mail was headed “Recruitment freeze”. Tesla could not immediately be reached for comment. Tesla shares fell almost 3 percent in premarket trading.
At the end of 2021, Tesla employed around 100,000 people worldwide. The carmaker is currently ramping up production at its new plant in Grünheide near Berlin and has advertised hundreds of jobs. There are around 5,000 open jobs worldwide on the LinkedIn job platform, from salespeople in Tokyo to mechatronics technicians in Berlin to IT specialists in Palo Alto.
Musk only made headlines on Wednesday by forbidding his staff to work from home. “If someone doesn’t show up, we have to assume that person has left the company,” the letter said, with no polite salutation, with the subject line “to be super clear.”
On Twitter, Musk exchanged blows with Australian billionaire Scot Farquhar, who described the appointment back to the office as “something from the 1950s”. The Tesla boss replied: “Recessions perform an important economic cleaning function.”
Musk is the first auto executive to express concern about the economy. The industry is currently benefiting from high global demand for new and used cars, also due to the fact that production has been under pressure since 2020 due to chip bottlenecks or lockdowns.
In the first quarter, Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles, the highest number ever, and sales soared 70 percent to $18.8 billion. However, production fell behind the previous quarter. Tesla had to temporarily close its plant in Shanghai due to the corona lockdown and is currently struggling to restart production.
Most recently, several high-ranking company bosses in the USA had expressed concern about economic development. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of investment bank JPMorgan, said this week a “hurricane is on its way.” Inflation in the US is currently at its highest level in 40 years.