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Tesla’s production efforts have slowed due to the coronavirus outbreak, reportedly causing the company to furlough workers and reduce the workforce at its Nevada plant by about 75%.
Business Insider reported that sluggish sales forced Tesla to temporarily lay off some workers in Norway.
Axel Tangen, Tesla’s director of Northern Europe, told Business Insider:
In plain terms, our current capacity is higher than the actual work available to us, due to uncertainty and restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Sadly, this means that our staffing need will be lower than normal for some time to come.
Layoffs are expected to start in April, but it’s unclear how many positions will be eliminated.
Tangen told Business Insider that employees will be furloughed based on the necessity of their role, the amount of time they’ve worked for the company, and “particularly compelling social conditions.”
Tesla is also reportedly reducing staff at its Gigafactory in Nevada. A post from Storey County Manager Austin Osborne said:
“Tesla has informed us that the Gigafactory in Storey County is reducing on-site staff by roughly 75% in the coming days. Our companies at TRIC are taking the COVID-19 matter seriously, and regularly report to us the measures they are taking to adhere to the established guidelines while maintaining essential operations. Checking employee temperatures, creating central access, allowing remote work, maintaining workstation distance, and others are occurring.”
Tesla parters with Panasonic to build battery packs at the Nevada factory, which are necessary components for assembling vehicles at the company’s factory in Fremont, Calif. It seems much of Tesla’s manufacturing efforts will be stalled until the medical crisis is contained.
That said, Tesla now plans to manufacture ventilators to support the needs of hospitals struggling to gather supplies to treat coronavirus patients.
Image: Darin Caggiano