Tesla reportedly plans to cut over 10% of its global workforce—some 14,000 employees—in face of slowing EV demand

Tesla Inc. will reduce global headcount by more than 10%, Electrek reported, as the carmaker grapples with a slowdown in electric vehicle demand.

Elon Musk cited “duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas” as the reason for the cuts, Electrek said, citing an email the chief executive officer sent to staff. Assuming the cuts apply company-wide, the dismissal would amount to more than 14,000 employees.

Tesla reported disastrous vehicle deliveries early this month, missing expectations by a wide margin and posting its first quarterly decline in four years. Several analysts are bracing for the EV maker’s sales to potentially shrink for the year, citing slow output of its newest model — the Cybertruck — and a lull in new products until the company starts producing a next-generation vehicle late next year.

“As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity,” Musk wrote in the email. “As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done.”

Tesla ended last year with 140,473 employees, almost double its total three years earlier. It’s been ramping up output at two plants — one in Austin, and the other outside Berlin — that started cranking out Model Y sport utility vehicles in early 2022. The company started slashing prices across its lineup as those facilities reached higher volumes.

Tesla shares have slumped 31% this year, ranking among the worst performers in the S&P 500 Index. The stock slipped as much as 1.2% before the start of regular trading Monday.

Read More: Tesla’s Market Story Is About Growth. That’s Now in Question

Tesla staff have been fearing potential job cuts since early this year, when managers were asked to affirm whether each of their employees’ positions is critical. Some salaried employees also were told late last year that the company wasn’t going to be offering merit-based equity awards as part of annual performance reviews.

“We just have to chase down every penny possible,” Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja said during Tesla’s most recent earnings call on Jan. 24. “We have a strong team which is hyper-focused on this.”

The EV slowdown Tesla has felt of late has been widespread. China’s BYD Co. delivered just 300,114 battery-electric vehicles in the first quarter, down 43% from the final three months of last year, when it briefly pulled ahead as the world’s top EV seller. Manufacturers including Volkswagen AG, General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have delayed, dialed back or altogether scrapped EV projects as consumers balk at still-high prices and a dearth of charging stations.

In its most recent major workforce reduction, Tesla eliminated about 10% of salaried workers in mid-2022.

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