Tesla has been no less than vocal about their plans to adopt online sales rather than continuing its retail endeavors. In fact, head honcho Elon Musk explained in a conference call that ceasing its retail arm will allow the company to save enough money to fast forward the manufacturing of the Model 3. Going digital will also garner around 6% in savings. Having enough funds is good for anyone in any industry, but Tesla is doing it by letting do some of its sales staff.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla began axing some of its "inside sales" personnel in Chicago, Brooklyn and Florida last week. These are the people who reach out to potential customers and invite them to test drive some of Tesla's new offerings. Following the cut, they are now "reassigned" to do menial tasks such as doing inbound call, washing and detailing the vehicles and helping out with the deliveries. Tesla confirmed that they have indeed started with their new strategy, but they declined to divulge other sensitive facts.
The unfortunate news came from those familiar with the issue, but they requested not to disclose their identities since the move was private. An employee assigned in Tesla's Florida arm said that 20 "inside sales" staff and two managers were informed noon Thursday about the eventual dismissal from their current position. This was echoed by another employee from Brooklyn. Both added that they were informed via conference call and that "it was effective immediately."
CNet meanwhile opined that the recession might have something to do with CEO Elon Musk's email that was sent to all Tesla employees. It had a whiff that the plan of the company to cut the number of its staff was imminent as Musk explained that good performing stores will "absolutely not be closed down." However, those who didn't quite meet their expectations will be given a decent amount of time to straighten things out. This will not save them, though as they are the ones in the frontline of Tesla's cost cutting.
Tesla hasn't really been showing their top game as of late. Musk on the other hand isn't a helping beacon since he has his own battles with the Securities and Exchange Commission to worry about. Their latest move, although good on paper since they are looking at savings, will eventually take a toll on the company. Investors will look at Tesla rather obscurely, while employees, afraid as they are to lose their jobs, will have to go before they find their names on the list.