Sales at Tesla Motors may continue their steady rise here in the US, but over in China, something might be getting lost in translation. The electric-vehicle maker may be laying off as much as a third of its workforce because of lower-than-expected sales of the Model S sedan, AutoGuide says, citing various China media sources. That means about 200 jobs may be disappearing from a company that's expanding in other global regions.
Tesla neither discloses monthly sales nor breaks out sales by country, but AutoGuide cites a Reuters report saying that the California-based automaker sold just 120 vehicles in China in January (likely less than 10 percent of what it sold here in the States). Sales have been beset by a number of issues, including late deliveries, hard-to-find (or at least harder than expected) public charging stations and a navigation system that doesn't quite jibe with local maps.
"While we don't comment on personnel matters, Tesla managers are empowered to make the best decisions for their their teams to succeed," a Tesla spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen.
The challenges have already impacted Tesla China on the upper-executive level. Then-Tesla China president Veronica Wu stepped down in January, about nine months after she was hired to lead operations there. Her predecessor, Kingston Chang, only lasted about a year on the job.