Elon Musk ordered Tesla to cut 10% of jobs worldwide after saying he had “a very bad feeling about the economy”.
The electric carmaker’s chief executive also ordered an immediate hiring freeze in an email to staff sent on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters.
About 100,000 employees are employed by Tesla worldwide, according to its annual US Stock Exchange Commission filing.
Mr Musk’s directive to cut 10% of staff comes after he told Tesla staff that their current work from home was effectively over. He tweeted earlier this week that remote workers “should pretend to work somewhere else.”
Remote work can continue at Tesla, provided staff spend at least 40 hours per month in the office. Some have interpreted this as an unspoken nod to hybrid working, where staff divide their time between working from home and the office.
Mr Musk previously said the US was “probably” in a recession, speaking at a conference in Miami in late May: “It will probably be tough for, I don’t know, a year, maybe 12 to 18 months “.
Addressing the All-In Summit in Miami Beach, the Tesla boss said: “The honest reason for inflation is that the government printed a zillion amount more money than it had.”
“It’s not like, you know, super complicated.”
According to Reuters, the U.S. auto industry shows few signs of slowing, with auto dealer inventories showing little sign of increasing due to tightening consumer spending and postponement of new vehicle purchases.
Tesla reportedly currently has around 5,000 vacancies worldwide on LinkedIn, including new positions for its recently opened battery factory in Berlin.
US inflation currently stands at around 8%, compared to around 5% a year ago. The White House said that despite a recent slowdown, “inflation is still too high.”