backtop


Print 81 comment(s) - last by Cypherdude1.. on Oct 20 at 9:31 PM

In the world of cold business dealings, the story of Tesla Motors recent cuts strikes particularly cruel

DailyTech previously covered the hot, but pricey Tesla Roadster, among the first of the next generation of electric cars which the Chevy Volt and others will soon be joining.  The Tesla Roadster was the product of Tesla Motors, a bright seeming startup with big dreams.  Despite the $100,000 price tag, hopes for the company are high.

Now Tesla Motors employees are finding the hard reality of the sagging economy is catching up to their company.  And worse yet in perhaps a sign of things to come, the company for which they had loyally worked has delivered them a particularly stinging rejection.

Corporate layoffs are nothing new.  Yahoo is contemplating more cuts, and Sprint and CNET were among others who made cuts earlier in the year.  Still, the layoff of roughly 90 percent of Tesla Motors work force at its Michigan location in Rochester Hills, 30 minutes north of Detroit stands out as unique and disturbing.

Workers at Tesla Motors showed up to work, just like any other day.  Some of them, unsurprisingly avid readers of auto-blogs took a quick peak on the internet to catch up with their morning news.  That's when a couple employees noticed that a story on auto-blog ValleyWag had news of Tesla Motor layoffs.  And the blog Jalopnik followed up that the layoffs would be taking place that day in Rochester Hills.

Logging on their own company site, sure enough it read that they were being laid off and were now obsolete.  Apparently no one had considered it a good idea to send them that memo, though.  Roughly 90 percent of the employees at the location received pink slips.  Tesla is reportedly cutting up to 100 employees, roughly half its workforce.  They're also demoting their CEO and replacing him. 

The few employees that weren't cut perhaps suffered an even worse fate.  They were ordered to relocate to Tesla Motor's San Jose headquarters and pay for the expense of the move themselves.  They would receive no increase in compensation.  Worst of all the company offered no help in selling their employees' homes, which will likely be a painful task amid Detroit's ravaged real estate landscape.

Perhaps most ironic of all was the pink slip message the employees being cut received.  The message read:

There will also be some headcount reduction due to consolidation of operations. In anticipation of moving vehicle engineering to our new HQ in San Jose, we are ramping down and will close our Rochester Hills office near Detroit. Good communication, tightly knit engineering and a common company culture are of paramount importance as Tesla grows.

While we certainly haven't seen the last of Tesla Motors, one certainly wonders if they can survive the rigors of the current economic climate with such a curious definition of "good communication."


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Big mistake
By the goat on 10/17/2008 11:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
They use to have a very positive public image. This will cost them a ton in the eyes of "Joe the plumber."




RE: Big mistake
By arazok on 10/17/2008 11:23:16 AM , Rating: 5
So? Joe wouldn’t be buying a Tesla anyways. He’s only 3 inches tall.


RE: Big mistake
By BruceLeet on 10/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: Big mistake
By Chernobyl68 on 10/17/2008 12:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
don't forget Simon the invisible unicorn.


RE: Big mistake
By snownpaint on 10/17/2008 1:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard of something like this before..
A manufacturing company just closed the building's doors, put up yellow tape across the door and had a note posted on the door saying "we are sorry, we are closing this location"
terrible way to get laid off..
reminds me of Office Space. "we just fixed the error. We prefer to let these matters resolve themselves"


RE: Big mistake
By arazok on 10/17/2008 1:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Joe dosen't even NEED a car.


RE: Big mistake
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/17/2008 11:23:30 AM , Rating: 5
My first thought was... "Wow this is the corporate equivalent of a text msg/facebook break up."

Talk about ridiculous.


RE: Big mistake
By mmntech on 10/17/2008 11:24:36 AM , Rating: 5
Unfortunately, it's becoming a standard practice now. It's cowardly and unprofessional in my opinion.


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 11:33:40 AM , Rating: 1
Well I guess they can say, "We read the writing on the wall" The blog being the modern day "wall" of gossip.

I've never heard of anyone loosing their job over e-mail or blog before. Would it even be legal? Most people do not realize you have to be on company property to be official fired. Sending a notice that you are fired over email or blog might be braking some law...


RE: Big mistake
By masher2 (blog) on 10/17/2008 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 5
No one was laid off via a blog posting. All that happened was that an auto blog got word of Tesla's impending job cuts before Tesla officially informed the affected employees.


RE: Big mistake
By RonnieJamesDio on 10/17/2008 11:51:48 AM , Rating: 5
I SWEAR TO GOD, the next person on this forum who writes the word 'loose' or 'loosing' when the really mean 'lose' or 'losing' needs to be tied down and have the phrase 'I am a looser' TATOOED ON THEIR FOREHEAD .


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 12:11:22 PM , Rating: 5
It's not nice to swear to God..... Gets you in trouble, lighting bolts, plagues, frogs, floods, you know the basics....

We are all humans. Humans are good at one thing, making mistakes. For myself my area of speciality for making mistakes is spelling since I'm dyslexic. I'll catch most in proofreading and the help of the spell checker. However, I'll miss some too. I'm sure you have an area you specialize in making mistakes that annoys others. The question is, are you willing to admit to them?


RE: Big mistake
By Alexstarfire on 10/17/2008 12:54:34 PM , Rating: 1
I suppose that might happen if you believe in God.... but I do not. Well, enough of that.

MAKE AN EDIT BUTTON, or something similar.


RE: Big mistake
By lukasbradley on 10/17/2008 3:55:49 PM , Rating: 4
No edit button. We need more accountability on the Internet, not more opportunity to morph statements.


RE: Big mistake
By BruceLeet on 10/17/2008 5:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Once your comment has been replied to they could close edits, but the preview button is enough I suppose...its what its there for. Besides if you had an edit button you'd never loose a debate.


RE: Big mistake
By MamiyaOtaru on 10/17/2008 7:24:42 PM , Rating: 5
Please tell me you actually read this thread you are replying to, and that you used "loose" to be funny D: D:

loose is the opposite of tight, not win


RE: Big mistake
By Tsuwamono on 10/18/2008 10:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
You're totally loosing this battle.


RE: Big mistake
By kkwst2 on 10/18/2008 11:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be loosing your cool over this. You need to losen up. What a looser.


RE: Big mistake
By Mitch101 on 10/17/2008 12:59:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's not nice to swear to God..... Gets you in trouble, lighting bolts, plagues, frogs, floods, you know the basics....


That's why I changed my name from God to Mitch a long time ago. Listening to all these whiny people day in an day out and using my name in vain well eventually I just tuned you all out.

I am thinking about revising my whole burning the earth idea and might just bring back Dinosaurs instead. They never complained like you mortals did.


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 1:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
where do you live??? I just want to make sure I'm far away from that location incase God is real and does not have a sense of humor.... or worse has a really twisted sense of humor.

Though, I must agree, Dinosaurs would really cut back on the complaining. Many people would stand out in the open yelling at the Dinosaur. Complaining about how their Dinosaur farts but out to much CO2 or their crap dropping on the highway are near impossible to drive around. As they complained the Dinosaur would just eat them up.... No more complaining... :)


RE: Big mistake
By Spuke on 10/17/2008 2:37:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
location incase God is real and does not have a sense of humor
You must be very young or very if you think that no one in the history of earth has ever made fun of God. If he didn't have a sense of humor, why would he give us one?


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 2:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Or I could be trying to make a joke. thanks for letting me know my joke sucked. I'll try and return the favor someday.


RE: Big mistake
By danrien on 10/20/2008 8:39:53 AM , Rating: 1
WHOA WAIT DINOSAURS WEREN'T MORTAL. SHIT.


RE: Big mistake
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/17/2008 12:41:00 PM , Rating: 5
Try decaffeinated.


RE: Big mistake
By mkrech on 10/17/2008 1:29:14 PM , Rating: 1
Ronnie... buddy.

I understand your frustration but really... do you think it might be because people stopped listening to you 20 years ago?

Just kidding.

Why don't you take a little break on a silver mountain somewhere and we'll knock a few grammatical heads around so everything will be nice and correct for you once your back.

|..|

Rock on!


RE: Big mistake
By dgouldin on 10/17/2008 6:16:40 PM , Rating: 5
Perhaps you meant TATTOOED?

A little grace goes a long way toward keeping you from looking like an idiot/asshole when you make a similar mistake.


RE: Big mistake
By antagron on 10/17/2008 7:38:28 PM , Rating: 3
Amen! This has annoyed me more than any single thing on all forums. Pretty common. People - "loose" rhymes with "noose" and "goose" !!


RE: Big mistake
By PhoenixKnight on 10/17/2008 7:47:15 PM , Rating: 1
Don't be so uptight, just losen up a little. How does people's grammatic errors effect you? Theirs no reason to tattoo anything on they're foreheads. Besides, it wouldn't have any affect, anyway. Don't loose you're head over this stuff.


RE: Big mistake
By Cypherdude1 on 10/20/2008 8:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
RonnieJamesDio,
You spelled tattooed wrong. This means you must accept your own recommended punishment. Prepare for a visit from the tattoo artist. He will be writing "I can't spell tattoo" on your forehead.

B ^D
quote:
I SWEAR TO GOD, the next person on this forum who writes the word 'loose' or 'loosing' when the really mean 'lose' or 'losing' needs to be tied down and have the phrase 'I am a looser' TATOOED ON THEIR FOREHEAD.


RE: Big mistake
By fic2 on 10/17/2008 1:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you missed the big thing 2 years ago when Radio Shack notified employees by email:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2006-08-30-radio...


RE: Big mistake
By DeepBlue1975 on 10/17/2008 3:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Some ways of being laid off might be cruel and pretty cold, but when the lay offs are massive, it's also a way of cutting costs down further.

You don't need to invest lots of HR man-hours to have individual interviews with the employees, for example.

Don't say it's nice at all, just saying that I can understand the underlying motives...

That being said, I don't share that policy at all. If I were the one deciding the layoffs, I'd rather have a group interview and explain the reasons and let them say what they have to, and save a little less money in the process, but I wouldn't go to sleep feeling the guilt of treating actual human beings as simple desk machines that do not need to be used any longer.

For reasons like this is that I guess I know why I would never make a successful CEO.


RE: Big mistake
By Samus on 10/19/2008 4:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
The last job I had still owes me my last paycheck. They answer my calls and misdirect them, don't reply to emails, and when I showed up a few months ago my boss and anybody high up refused to see me and they asked me to leave. It was a small business and this was a few years ago, but the cold email I received informing me not to come back in and to mail my company materials back via certified mail at my own expense was shattering. They threatened that failure to return materials would be turned over to a collection agency. That's a given, it doesn't need to be said, nobody steals their old laptop from a job they get laid off from, do they?

Anywho yea corporate america is pissfucked.


RE: Big mistake
By Cypherdude1 on 10/20/2008 9:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not paying employees is a serious offense. There are many different government agencies, state, local and federal, which deal with this issue. What you need to do is research this issue, then send a fax or letter over to the CEO of the company explaining that if they don't cough up your pay, you'll start contacting these agencies. They're essentially bullying you. Warn them that if you don't receive your paycheck within 2 weeks, you'll start writing complaints. They threatened you with a collection agency. You threaten them with governmental intervention, which can be very expensive to them BTW. Perhaps a lawyer can even represent you pro bono. You can also threaten them with going to a newspaper if everything else doesn't work. You would have a stronger case if you had done all this a few weeks after the occurrence.
quote:
The last job I had still owes me my last paycheck. ...this was a few years ago...


RE: Big mistake
By Gzus666 on 10/17/2008 11:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Um, employees, about that working relationship thing. We totally don't think this is working out, but it isn't you, it's us. So, hope we can still be friends.

Love, Tesla Inc."


RE: Big mistake
By 67STANG on 10/17/2008 11:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
The could have just used one of the numbers off of this site:

http://www.rejectionhotline.com/


RE: Big mistake
By whiskerwill on 10/17/2008 9:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Talk about ridiculous
Whats ridiculous is your article title. You totally misrepresented the situation. There's a big difference between getting fired and just hearing about a layoff rumor.


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, Joe the plumber could not afford this car....

As pointed out..."Despite the $100,000 price tag, hopes for the company are high."

If they want some success they need to sell thousands of cars not a few here and there. So, how can they get that price tag down to 30 to 40K? Then Joe the plumber can think about buying this car.


RE: Big mistake
By GaryJohnson on 10/17/2008 12:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Joe needs a van to carry all his plumbing stuff. Clearly Tesla doesn't care about Joe because they aren't making vans.

Then there's the other problem of Bob the Mechanic not knowing how to fix Joe the Plumber's electric van and/or having to order parts from Tesla (who may be underproducing spare-parts or out of business at the time).


RE: Big mistake
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 1:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Bob the Mechanic needs to go back to school because he's ruining Joe the Plumbers day. How, self-centered of Bob the mechanic not to be ready for Joe the plumbers new van.


RE: Big mistake
By GaryJohnson on 10/17/2008 5:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
He can't go to school, he has to work. Bob is working to feed his family, how is that self-centered?

Bob also hates change.


RE: Big mistake
By PhoenixKnight on 10/17/2008 7:55:36 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe Bob the Mechanic is like Joe the Plumber and isn't actually licensed.


RE: Big mistake
By rippleyaliens on 10/18/2008 1:07:58 AM , Rating: 1
Classic case, of building Ferrari $$$ cars, in a economy that is buckling over ford escort prices.
Being fired via email is nothing new. Sarcom bought Vanstar to become a HUGE MEGA IT company. in less than a year, they went bankrupt, and fired people via email, and voice message.
This happens.
What is bad, is that the real estate in Mich, especially rochester hills is horrriiibbblleee. They are gonna loose their shirts... Moving to San Jose, lol. even worse..Getting a tech job there is hard enough, letalone this. Now factor in, that re-locating cost, with kids, clothes, and house hold items. we are talking min $3500.. just to move. (single person/small family). 2Br apts in San Jose are in the 1300-1500 range, EASILY, and in apts that are no where near Michigan (however crummy)..

Then there is no guarantee of employment with Telsa anyway.
Moving out of Detroit area was actually a smart idea, Detroit is dying.. Detroit plants are closing left/right.


RE: Big mistake
By onelittleindian on 10/18/2008 1:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Detroit plants are closing left/right.
Yep, killed by the UAW and the overly-taxing and restricting Michigan State Govt.

When are people ever going to figure out that when you treat businesses like piggy banks (when you're not treating them like mortal enemies) that they're either going to eventually move or just wither up and die?


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki