Tesla to Lay Off Over 250 Employees in New York as Part of Restructuring Efforts

World news

Tesla is set to lay off 285 employees in New York State as part of a broader restructuring initiative, according to a WARN notice filed in the state.

The majority of the affected employees were based at the company’s Buffalo factory, with others working at a store and service centre in the area, the document stated.

Earlier this week, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk issued a memo to all employees stating that the car manufacturer would reduce its global workforce by over 10%. Tesla has revealed few details about the layoffs beyond the leaked memo, which stated that the workforce reduction would help “prepare the company” for a “next phase of growth.”

The layoffs disclosed in Buffalo represent a 14% cut in the workforce there.

Tesla took over the Buffalo facility after completing its acquisition of solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2017.

Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity has been widely criticised as a bailout for a struggling solar business with deep ties to the CEO and Tesla’s board. Musk financed and co-founded SolarCity with his cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive, and served as its chairman.

Another Musk enterprise, SpaceX, had purchased SolarCity bonds, and had the company gone under, it would also have lost its investment.

Empire State taxpayers doled out around $1 billion to build the Buffalo factory, including purchasing equipment, in hopes of supporting the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs in the region. While Tesla said it would manufacture solar panels at the Buffalo facility, its efforts to grow its solar business have faltered over the years.

Instead of producing solar panels as its main business in Buffalo, Tesla assembles Supercharger equipment there and previously moved some of its Autopilot data labelling team to the site. The company has also told shareholders it would build supercomputer hardware in Buffalo.