Electric car maker Tesla is on a hiring spree as plans move ahead for China gigafactory
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Tesla appears to be rapidly increasing its rate of hiring, including for its upcoming factory in Shanghai, two months after laying off around 9 per cent of its employees.
According to the data analysis site Thinknum, Tesla increased the number of open listings on the “careers” section of its website by 23.5 per cent, from 1,662 openings to 2,053 in July.
As of August 4, the company had the largest number of openings, 164, at the Fremont, California, factory where it makes its vehicles, followed by its Palo Alto headquarters.
Tesla’s website also lists job openings at its upcoming Gigafactory in Shanghai, where it plans to eventually produce 500,000 vehicles and battery packs per year.
In its second-quarter earnings letter, the company said it expects to begin construction “within the next few quarters,” and start production around 2021.
A gigafactory is a huge plant designed to produce lithium-ion batteries by the gigawatt-hour (GWh). A GWh is equivalent to one billion watts for one hour.
Tesla will also build a European gigafactory, which may be announced by the end of the year.
Tesla plans to ultimately build between 10 and 12 gigafactories which is part of the company’s plan to reduce production costs for its vehicles. Future gigafactories will house battery, powertrain and car production.
Tesla declined to comment on its current or future hiring plans.
Drive to profitability
At the beginning of June, Tesla laid off around 9 per cent of its workforce. In an email to employees, CEO Elon Musk said the layoffs were part of the company’s effort to become profitable.
“What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable,” he said.
Tesla reported an adjusted loss per share of $US3.06 for the second quarter, which was larger than what analysts had predicted, and revenue of $US4 billion, which beat analyst projections.
Its negative free cash flow during the quarter, $US740 million, was lower than analysts expected. The company said it expects to be profitable during the second half of this year.
“Going forward, we believe Tesla can achieve sustained quarterly profits, absent a severe force majeure or economic downturn, while continuing to grow at a rapid pace,” the company said.
Musk shocked observers on Tuesday when he announced his desire to take the company private, saying he had the funding for such a deal secured and merely needed the proposal to pass a shareholder vote before it could go through. (He indicated via Twitter that he had investor support.)
But two days later, it’s unclear where that funding will come from.
Tesla has yet to submit any regulatory filings that provide more detail into Musk’s proposal, and on Wednesday The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission made an inquiry into Tesla about whether one of Musk’s tweets regarding the possibility of taking the company private was truthful.