Tesla fired 400 employees last week

Hundreds get pink slips at Tesla after appraisals

Despite the mass firings, Tesla is still believed to be looking to hire hundreds more workers as it starts to ramp-up production ahead of the highly-anticipated Model 3's mass roll-out.

Tesla confirmed in a statement on Saturday that a number of its 33,000 workers were fired, but did not confirm how many employees were sacked.

"Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review during which a manager and employee discuss the results that were achieved, as well as how those results were achieved, during the performance period", explained a brand spokesperson.

"Tesla indicated that all the production equipment for Model 3 was installed and working and that all vehicles were moving through the manufacturing line", he writes, in a likely nod to a recent Wall Street Journal report saying that parts for the early Model 3s were being produced by hand.

"Model 3 production was less than anticipated due to production bottlenecks", Tesla wrote in an October 2 investor letter.

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The housecleaning swept out employees in administrative and sales positions, outside of manufacturing department. The automaker said the dismissals were due to its latest company-wide review, adding that they were performance-based rather than layoffs. Although some employees told the paper that firings hurt morale. Elon Musk prefers to work long hours as he serves as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX simultaneously.

The launch of InsureMyTesla in the USA comes after CEO Elon Musk took issue with reports earlier this year that insurer AAA was raising rates to insure Tesla vehicles in some markets, citing high claim frequencies and costs.

Musk also has delayed the introduction of self-driving semi-truck to November to focus on getting Model 3 ready for delivery to waiting customers.

Quoted by the Mercury News, Michael Harley, managing editor at Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, thought the dismissals could be an effort to improve vehicle production.

"It's no secret that Tesla's Model 3 development and ramp-up for production has been derailed", Harley said to the Mercury News.

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