Electric Cars

Tesla's 7 percent workforce cut amounts to more than 1,000 jobs slashed in California

The layoffs take place amid accelerating Model 3 manufacturing.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Roadshow reported last month that Tesla was cutting its global workforce by roughly 7 percent. That amounts to around 3,000 personnel let go after Tesla expanded its head count by 30 percent last year. New data shows that about a third of those cut jobs are based in California.

According to California Employment Development Department filings sourced by the East Bay Times, that breaks down to 802 jobs cut at Tesla's manufacturing facility in Fremont, 137 manufacturing support positions in Lathrop and 78 jobs at the company's head office in Palo Alto.

On the heels of Tesla announcing the availability of the $35,000 Model 3 -- a technicality that factors in tax rebates and estimated fuel savings -- the layoffs are another way to help the company achieve a $35,000 Model 3 base price without including those asterisk factors.

This seems to be a case of Tesla learning how to do more with less. As we reported at the end of January, the automaker expects to increase deliveries by as much as 65 percent in 2019, thanks to Model 3 sales beginning in China and Europe.

If Tesla can continue to make a profit this year, as it did in the third and fourth quarters of 2018, the company may be in a position to hire back at least some of its cut workforce.